Some members are proud when their churches are growing. But a closer look often shows that there’s no reason to be proud because their churches aren’t truly growing, they’re just getting fat: the increase in membership isn’t coming from conversions but through people coming from other churches, people who already believe being attracted to good preaching or a strong education program. I know several churches whose Sunday attendance is in the thousands, but they baptize only a few people a year. The reason few people are coming to Christ at these churches is because so many people who are already followers of the way are joining these churches on their own initiative. Given this false growth, the churches neither see the need for evangelism nor have any energy left for evangelism after taking care of all their new members.
Sometimes I wonder how people would go to heaven and how many would go to hell if Jesus returned today. 20% of the people in Korea are considered Christian. So at most, 20% of the Korean population would go to heaven. 80% would not be saved. In a city of 10,000, 8,000 will go to hell. In a city of 100,000, 80,000 would go to hell. In a city of 1,000,000, 800,000 would go to hell. But many Christians seem to be more interested in the 20% who go to church and have already been saved than the 80% who would go to hell.
When I lead house church seminars for pastors I urge them to view things from a Kingdom perspective. I entreat them to focus on saving the 80% who are lost and pay less attention to which church they go to once they are saved.
From a Kingdom perspective there is only one Church: the body of Christ. Different local churches are simply different members of one body. This is why I offer a prayer for other churches in Houston during our Sunday worship services: we are members of one body and the family of God. For this same reason I ask visitors from out of state to join smaller churches in the area because we are members of one body and I want to help them.
My desire has long been that not just visitors but our own church members go to and serve smaller churches. Finally, my wish has come true. As I announced a few weeks earlier, Shepherd Lee Heoun Jai has decided to serve at a smaller church. This week, Shepherd Kim Ki Jun called me and told me that he was also going to look for another church to serve. I am pleased their decisions. I hope that many others will follow suit. I pray that they will become model church members by being faithful servants of the Lord and a great help to the pastors, setting good examples in their new churches. I hope that not only our church but all churches in Houston grow together.
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