This morning I ran across an article in response to the question “What do you think of the Purpose Driven model?”.
To their credit they didn’t attack Rick Warren or Saddleback rather they chose to outline from their perspective what a “Biblical local church” looks like. Here it is in part:
First and foremost, a Biblically successful church has zero to do with the size or growth of the congregation. The Bible does not implore pastors to grow their churches. Rather, it is God who adds to the Body of Christ (Acts 2:47). If a pastor waters down what he teaches, or avoids teaching certain things like sin and repentance, regardless of his sincerity or motivation, it is called “tickling the ears” and is wrong (2Tim. 4:3). It would be far better for a Believer to attend a small church where a humble pastor knows everyone’s name and spiritual gifts while making it his priority to nurture individual’s spiritual growth and formation. On Judgment Day (Rom. 14:11) pastors will not be judged according to how large their churches were, but for how well they Biblically armored His flock for service (2Tim. 4:2)
Therefore, regardless of the size, the purpose of the local Church is:
To equip Believers for service (2Tim. 3:16; Eph. 4:12)
Armoring Believers, not evangelism of non-believers, is to be the focal point of the local church. Individual Believers are instructed to exhibit God’s love and be used by the Holy Spirit to evangelize the community (2Tim. 4:5 ). All examples of early church activities have believers doing the evangelizing (Acts 4:1-2, 13:5, 17:2). Therefore, the focus of the pastor and his number one priority should be the equipping of those the Lord has put under his ministry. From the Sunday sermon, youth activities, home Bible studies, to miscellaneous activities, ALL should be focused on the Believer and his/her spiritual armor and growth in God’s love. It is not the church’s purpose to attract non-Believers for evangelism and growth.
It’s a fairly lengthy post. I don’t disagree with all of it. Mostly the foundational premise that “a Biblically successful church has zero to do with the size or growth of the congregation.” and how that translates into Sunday morning should be “focused on the Believer and his/her spiritual armor and growth in God’s love.”
I’ll post a rebuttal in the comments later but wanted to hear your thoughts on the bit above. You can tell by the title of the post a little bit about my response and the angle I’m coming from.
Thanks for commenting, I appreciate this community.