Church Gimmicks and the Idol of Success

Timely.

The following quotations are from the article “Church Gimmicks & the Idol of Success” in the latest issue of Credo Magazine “Churchy Gimmick: Has the Church Sold its Soul to Consumerism.”  You can read the article, and others, in full here: Credo Magazine, latest issue

“Following America’s lead, churches around the globe are spending through the roof trying to attract the greatest number of people into their worship gatherings.  Success is the name of the church-growth game.”

“In fact, one of the most frequent questions a pastor receives is, “How many did you have in worship?” or “How big is your church?”  It seems like buildings, bodies, and budgets sideline Christ crucified, a stumbling block and offense.”

“I maintain that the ‘How to’ of being faithful to God in worship and ministry is demonstrated through the ordinary, historic, and apostolic means of grace, particularly, ministry of the Word, prayer, and sacraments.”

“If God has already provided the ordinary means of growing in grace as we find in His Word, why do we think that we have the right or the greater wisdom to invent new ways through entertainment-driven, success-oriented worship and ministry?”

“I plead with you not to be tempted with success, professionalism, or the fading fads of our entertainment-driven culture.  Rather, pursue Jesus as the all-satisfying treasure that He is and strive to faithfully feed His sheep through the means of grace that God has already provided His Church.”

Brian H. Cosby (Ph.D., Australian College of Theology) is pastor of Wayside Presbyterian Church (PCA) on Signal Mountain, Tennessee and author of Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Church (P&R).

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