Why Do We Care So Much About…?

Every once in awhile a book comes out that is so needed I feel like, “Thank God someone wrote that.” That’s how I feel about The Measure Of Our Success a book written by Shawn Lovejoy to challenge pastors with how they think about church and success. Doing a couple posts inspired by the book…

Lovejoy writes, “I have told our church on many occasions that the greatest temptation I face is not stealing the money from the offering or having an affair; the greatest temptation I face is substituting what I do for God for what I am with God.”

He asks pastors, “Why do we really care so much about how many showed up for church this past weekend? Why is one of the first questions we ask each other as pastors about the size of our churches? Why are the financial contribution numbers really so important? Why do we want to start a new site versus plant a church? Why are we unwilling to plant churches in our own neighborhood? Why do we want to broadcast ourselves to as many places and as many screens as possible?”

Those are questions pastors HAVE TO wrestle with. If you’re a pastor and haven’t, well, that’s dangerous.

Lovejoy concludes, “I believe that gut-level answers to many of these questions would often reveal that even though we preach against it, our ministries are often being driven by our flesh, not the Spirit.”

I wish I didn’t agree, but I totally do. So many pastors make an idol of their churches and worship success. I battled this a lot for years, and probably still do a little. But God is the only one who deserves our worship, and if our actual goal is personal success or stoking our egos or growing our reputation, that’s sin – even if we cover it under the guise of wanting to lead healthy churches that reach lots of people.