Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth
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Alligator Shoes

Under the umbrella of this Church Growth Marketing Movement we now see a certain brand of “consultants” who are currently wandering from church-to-church while reaping profits as they peddle obvious facts and observations along with decades-old growth schemes designed to point the church towards conforming to its surrounding culture. When pastors of many of the local churches down the street fork out large amounts of cash so that they can hear about and utilize these approaches, most of the time the desired results just don’t occur.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to witness these marketers sell their wares to pastor after pastor in a number churches. I have found that these folk are easy to pinpoint just by looking at their feet, for they will be donning the most expensive shoes in the room. Hence, if you want to know if a Church Growth consultant is in your midst, just look for the alligator shoes.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” (II Cor11:13-15 MKJV)

The sales strategy offered by the “men donned in alligator shoes” to the Institutionalized Church is not a lot different than the age-old pyramid-building approach to marketing. Here we find a motivational speaker gathering a group of would-be converts together in order to exalt a few successes while ignoring the bulk of the failures. “All you have to do,” the marketer claims, “is purchase some of our product and the doorway to wealth will open up before you. Soon you’ll build pyramid of people working under you who will make you rich!” For decades this Amway-style marketing strategy has captivated the attention of would-be millionaires who purchase a box load of soap only to eventually fall short of the get rich quick promises they bought into. In reality pyramid motivators leave behind far more failure than success.

Seldom can real success be found in gimmicks that promise instant results. And the rich will fall as quickly as they rise. (Proverbs 11:28) “Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away.” (James 1:9-10 MKJV) Hence it would be wise counsel to build one’s house upon the Rock while remaining distant from those who promise at a certain price to reveal extra-biblical “secrets” to ministry success.

In their pursuit after wealth, modern Amway-style pyramid builders tightly adhere to an ends-justifies-means philosophy. It doesn’t seem to matter who they lead up a blind alley as long as the pyramid below them advances their financial goals. This pragmatic philosophy also seems to be the bottom line in the bulk of contemporary growth strategies promoted by a certain segment of Christian marketers. As long as it is all done for God, then the methodology used to get there is irrelevant. It does not matter to many marketers if people are deceived, biblical doctrine is watered down, the traditions of the church annihilated or the message of orthodox Christianity is watered down as long as it is all done for the sake of Church Growth. But in reality this is only an appeal to the base desire of the pursuit of wealth and self-glorification.

Tom Cruise and his fellow Scientology adherents might lap up revelation offered at a price, but knowledge gained in such a fashion is hardly suitable for Christian edification. And typically the mysteries that the Church Growth Movement offers to divulge are about adopting the so-called latest and greatest into the church in order to attract the world by becoming like it. Yet Solomon once said, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ec 1:9 MKJV)

According to the Bible there is nothing new but the tried and true. Yet today we see consultants who have emerged from the Church Growth Movement calling the church to do quite the opposite as they admonish pastors to turn from the “tried and true” for the sake of embracing “everything new.” I have had many occasions to witness the results that occur in churches that have adopted their so-called “cutting edge” counsel. Many of these tragic instances will be detailed in this book to demonstrate that invariably more harm than good will occur when pastors associate with the “everything new” Church Growth crowd. Therefore, when approached by men donned in alligator shoes peddling mysteries, the wise pastor should consider Solomon’s wisdom.

And those who understand Solomon’s admonition that there is “nothing new under the sun” realize that the Bible has given us all the church growth information that we need. Hence there are many who have risen above the fray to promote sound biblical principles that will invariably result in church growth as inspired by the work of God’s Holy Spirit rather than the feeble efforts of man. For example, the Apostle Paul had a lot to say to the Early Church with regard to body ministry and evangelism that resulted in unprecedented growth. Great leaders in Christianity such as Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel have advanced biblical teachings that place the responsibility of church growth in God’s hands with dramatic results. I once co-pastored a Calvary Chapel church plant that followed these biblical principles and I witnessed the Lord add to the church daily. Furthermore there might be consultants out there who likewise promote biblical ideas in order to help the church. Consequently it is this writer’s position that there is nothing wrong with churches growing as long as the Bible is being followed rather than the counsel of the world. And it is always beneficial to listen to those who promote sound biblical principles.

Though pastors ought to heed the advice of those who present sound biblical teachings regarding growth to our church today, it is likewise important to watch out for those who are calling the church to the philosophies of the world rather than the Scriptures. Therefore, beware of the men donned in alligator shoes.

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase:

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//


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