Planetshakers Insider

Musings on Life, the Christian Journey and being a part of Planetshakers City Church

Real-Life Expectations of God and the Numbers Mentality

with 5 comments

“Mike” had an interesting comment on the need to “Feel” a distant God for ourselves, how this creates the wrong expectations, and how we place individual celebrities (who in fact are sinners, like all of us) in a place of reverence reserved God:

My heart does go out to the number of young Christians that have or will have been affected by this. But this only shows how there are a number of people out there who base their faith not PRIMARILY on God’s Word but to the ‘celebrities’ of Christian worship.

Unfortunately, that is the problem today where the people seek instant gratification in all walks of life. So when there is a massive concert, people flock to, get saved and then go back to their normal lives. And the fact that human nature to “see and feel” God that they put idols in their lives.

No doubt that Mike G. will be accountable for his actions to God for what he has done and what he has failed to do.

And to those Christians that were deeply affected by this: you need to ask the question – Who do I really believe in – Jesus Christ or the person on the platform?

NV: Youth groups have fun events to get the numbers going. Then numbers fall off when you start getting serious with God and the Word. And then this is viewed as a failure. I think this is a wrong perception prevalent in many churches today – numbers is a measurement of success and growth. God never gave a minimum quota but rather He just said to “GO and make disciples of all nations”

We as a church need to get rid of this “NUMBERS” mentality and focus more on the needs of the individual rather than our own church image.

Written by Planetshakers Insider

August 27, 2008 at 5:25 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I also think that branding faith in a particular way (whether that be Hillsong or Planetshakers or whatever), is dangerous as well. we all know that ‘products’ have a life-cycle, in constant need to be replaced by something else in order to keep consumers hooked, whereas the real sustainable brand of faith is found solely in the bible – not new music styles and funky graphics.

    maybe someone else can elaborate on this…

    cool blog =]

    karlo

    August 27, 2008 at 6:04 pm

  2. we’ve talked about this lots.. recently … for awhile (in Canada and watching out big American brother)… numbers numbers.. content? word? worship? superstars? circus… what?
    I’m trying to get through ‘contemplative youth ministry’ by mike yaconelli. my fave quote:
    “Remember always that human need is infinite, and that the number 5 bears the same relationship to infinity as does the number 5 million. Therefore, wise persons are going to make conscious decisions that have a qualitative impact on infinity rather than a quantitative one”

    alyssa

    August 28, 2008 at 11:12 am

  3. All of this comes back to the great commission. Here’s the text lifted off biblegateway.com: Matthew 28:16-20.

    16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    The problem with Hillsong and Planetshakers is that they’re not fulfilling the whole of the great commission. They’re baptizing people, at least a few times a year. But they’re not teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded the disciples nor are they making disciples of all the people in their churches let alone the nations.

    If this were the case the same people who were at Planetshakers Citychurch in the beginning in 2004 would by and large still be there now and this would be reflected in the leadership of the church. But they’re not there and their leadership, especially the upperleadership has largely been static.

    There is not a single person from my Urban Life group in 2005 that is there now. Think about it. Sure you can have your odd one or two who “backslide” or move to another city and hence physically can’t come. But 14 out of 15 people? Did they all lack faith? Was that the reason why they left? Couldn’t take the heat in the spiritual kitchen? C’mon. There’s a common thread all these people have. They were all in Planetshakers and they were all under Russell and Sam Evans and now they’re all not.

    And I haven’t even started talking about the last remaining component of the great commission that Jesus spoke of. But before I get there, could it just possibly be that maybe the ones at fault here are Russell and Sam Evans and not us the believers they preside over and are ultimately servants to?.

    After all it is they who run Planetshakers. They are the gatekeepers as to who joins the upper leadership of their church and on what terms, how their church is run and how church is done, and by their actions it does not appear to be Jesus.

    Jesus is the sourdough bread to their chocolate mudcake. They offer the mudcake because they know it will attract the people by their masses. They the people are tempted by the appealing looks, the beautiful smell and the delicious taste of the mudcake. But continually consuming mudcake makes your body sick. You don’t get the nutrients you need to grow and be healthy and become the best you can be. The sourdough bread on the other hand doesn’t look all that appealing, after all its just bread. It doesn’t taste that crash hot because the dough lets face it is sour, but the bread contains all the necessary nutrients to enable you to grow, become all you can be and to strengthen your body to help it fight off infection.

    Last but not least the “teaching them all I have commanded you” component. Today I was at their first ever sunday morning service. They did not directly quote one scripture in the whole of the service. How can you teach all that Jesus taught if you don’t directly quote the scripture which says exactly what He said? And if you’re a founder and an overseer of a church, what use is there in doing a four year bible college degree if you’re not going to quote any of the scriptures that you’re taught?

    I’ll leave you with one last thought. Say you’re travelling in a bus packed full of people and you are the only person with a street directory. You open the street directory and according to the position you find yourself in in the street directory’ the road your travelling on is 60 seconds away from from the edge of a cliff. You go to the front of the bus to the driver to warn him. Should he say to you that a) you’re being divisive, b) you shouldn’t question Gods anointed or c) that you lack faith in the bus driver. Maybe someone from Planetshakers could answer that for me.

    theoriginalmattyc

    August 31, 2008 at 4:52 pm

  4. Hi All,

    What if…….God asked the AOG Churches to sell everything the church owns, the land and mega-buildings, to cease immediately the advertising campaigns, conferences, TV shows, prolific overseas travel, music production, and direct all the financial resources to the homeless and destitute in their own city, and then asked them to “Come, follow me, rent a school auditorium and concentrate on one thing only…holiness”. Would they? Could they? Have AOG become like the rich ruler that went away saddened when Jesus instructed him to do the same because he was so attached to his wealth? But what if…they did! Now that church would have my attention…I would go to a church like that.

    Ben Zed

    September 5, 2008 at 8:30 pm

  5. I thought you’d appreciate the following. It’s from “365 days with Spurgeon Vol 1”, a series of devotionals from some of his sermons.

    Deut 32:3, 1 Cor 3:1-9, Acts 10:26, Ps 115:1

    “In Protestant countries there is a very strong tendency to priestcraft [ascribing greatness to GOD’s ministers rather than GOD Himself] still. Though we do not bow down and worship images, and do not professedly put our souls into the hands of priests, yet, I am sorry to say it, there is scarce a congregation that is free from that error of ascribing greatness to their minister.

    If souls are converted, how very prone we are to think there is something marvellous in the man; and if saints are fed and satisfied with marrow and fatness, how prone we are to suppose that the preacher has taken something about him by which these wondrous things are done; and if a revival takes place in any part of the vineyard, it matters not in what denomination, there is an aptness in the human mind to ascribe some part of the glory and the praise to the mere human agency. Oh, beloved, I am sure that every right-minded minister will scorn the thought. We are but your servants for Christ’s sake. We speak to you, as GOD helps us, what we believe to be GOD’s truth; but ascribe not to us any honour or any glory.

    If a soul is saved, GOD from first to last has done it. If your souls are fed, thank the Master; be respectful and grateful to the servent as you will be, but most of all thank him who puts the words into the mouths of his servent, and who applies it to your heart. ‘Oh, down with priestcraft!’ even I myself must down with it. ‘Down with it!’ I cry.

    Take care, friends, that you put no honour upon any man that you ought to have ascribed unto his Sovereign. ‘Ascribe ye greatness unto our GOD.'”

    Amanda

    September 28, 2008 at 6:01 pm


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