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Followers of Jesus Christ Ministries/ UP WAY PUBLICATIONS •   P.O. Box 1015 . Kailua, Hawaii 96734-1015
VOL.01                                                                                    ________                                        No. 12

“I Will… Build Greater”

Dear Fellow-laborers in the Kingdom of God:

Yes, this is a sermon to my fellow ministers, and not to the average church member. When Jesus told the parable "And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
       "So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. And he said unto his disciples, "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on." (Luke 12:16-21), it has more than just an application to the goods of the world, the material blessings we acquire. It may also just as well apply to the “barns” into which we bring our congregations for worship and praise to the Lord — and maybe a little bit — just a wee little bit — praise to ourselves for what a fine job of pastoring we’re doing!

“Um yas, brothah. When I came to this city, there was only one family and two ladies whose husbands were drunkards that came to the meetings. Now, fifteen years later, I’m running an average of seven hundred in Sunday School and we’re in an expansion program. We’re selling the old property on the proverbial wrong side of the tracks and getting ready to build an edifice to seat fifteen hundred in the main auditorium.”

Sound familiar? Maybe, with a few slight variations, you said almost that same thing yourself recently. Maybe, like the past or in our little scenario you forgot to mention that it was God who gave you the increase. Maybe you did remember to give God all the glory. But are you sure God wants this big new edifice where fifteen hundred lonely souls can come to congregate and nobody has the time to get to know the other and nobody knows each other and they all come to do their religious obligations and leave still feeling lonely, un-cared-for, unloved and unfulfilled? How many young ministers who have come up in "your" church have felt the burden and the call to preach and to perhaps pastor and are now ready to try their own wings, but will be held back from their fullest God-given potential by remaining in your mega-church as an underpastor to assist you with the duties of this large congregation when there are souls who would have been better and more effectively reached by your church helping this young minister obtain a building at some distance from yours and start his own new congregation. How many would respond to his unique qualities in a church he pastored but who will not respond in your mega-church?

Each of us in the ministry appeals to certain people and others don't like us.  Some may like pomp and ceremony while others like it informal. Some like the long and theologically "deep" sermons and may like it when you refer to hermeneutics and ecshatology and exegesis while others prefer that although you are being correct in your hermeneutics, ecshatology and exegesis in every sermon you preach, you never use these theological terms. So that young minister who 
received much of his training from you will both be more obedient to our Lord's command to "Go ye..." if you help him to go and establish a new outreach, a new cell group, a new house meeting instead of staying within the confines of your congregation and seldom having a chance to preach. 

 

Finally: DO NOT LOWER your holiness standard, but elevate, RAISE it to full agreement with what the Bible really says.

Yours for Jesus' sake,

Bro. Sam

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