We must measure “success” by fruit of the Spirit, not numbers.

Whenever Driscoll’s bullying behavior was challenged, the response from many in the Christian culture was to say, “Yes, but he’s doing so much good! Look at how his church just keeps growing and growing! He’s even convinced MEN to go to church!”  No doubt this results-based culture influenced Driscoll’s decision to use church funds to pay for a spot on the New York Times bestseller list and to vow to “destroy” other area churches “brick by brick.”

When Christians measure a church’s “success” by numbers rather than the fruit of the Spirit, we create a culture that looks nothing like the Kingdom Jesus preached. But Scripture does not teach us that the fruit of the Spirit is satellite campuses, book sales, and market share. Scripture teaches us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Jesus said that we identify false preachers, not by their position on obscure theological matters, but by the degree to which their lives exhibit this type fruit.  In other words, getting men to go to church is not the same as making disciples of Jesus, and we best not confuse the two. 

All across the world, there are thousands and thousands of pastors laboring faithfully to help grow and nurture the fruit of the Spirit within their congregations. Some of these congregations are growing and others are dwindling.  Perhaps we should do a better job of honoring such pastors—by thanking them, encouraging them, and  maybe listening to them for a change at our pastors conferences. When Christians measure church success by the standards of American culture—money, power, prestige, numbers—we set ourselves up for scandal, discouragement, and abuse of authority/funds/people. Jesus never promised us success by worldly standards. He only asked that we remain faithful. And far too many pastors are getting the message that faithfulness isn’t enough. 

Character matters.  Integrity matters. Kindness matters. How we do things in the Church matters. All of this is is part of our testimony and when it is compromised in the name of “success,” we loose the very saltiness that is supposed to set us apart. Read more>>

Source : Rachel Held Evans

Note : I have to mention that I do not agree  with  in all opinions  of this author.

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