What happens when Christ is not the center of the church?

Ask Carlton Pearson. He appeared on Dateline this evening.

I thought that I would be blogging about his views on Hell, and I still may, after some prayer and reflection. However, I would like to address the cult of personality that is prevalent in many of our churches today.

Megachurches, they are everywhere. The tend to be staff-driven, and founded by specific pastors. These men (almost exclusively) have something to say, and they are called to share the Gospel. I don't know that any of them set out for fame and glory-- at least I pray not.

These churches really tread a fine line. On one hand, our culture has set pretty high production standards. There is arguably an entertainemt factor in play, for better of worse. I understand that many people are "hooked" by the music, lights, video, etc. and are able to taste, some for the first time, the Gospel. I think this is an effective ministry tool.

But where is that line to be drawn? How many meals could that Bogner amp buy? How many children could be clothed with the money for those DMX controlled lights and Allan and Heath concert series mixer?

My experience with our local megachurch was pretty uncomfortable. I am much happier in our small but growing church plant. Gracepoint is teaching me to be a missionary in my own backyard.

When I watched this essay tonight, I was struck by the complete lack of mention of God's call in Bishop Pearson's life; preaching was a career path, it would seem. And I can't help but wonder if God hasn't worked to tear Carlton down, so that Christ will be built in him.

Churches which revolve around men are doomed to failure, as soon as the congregants realise their leaders' feet are clay. Churches built around Christ, well they cannot fai.l; He cannot fail.

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