I am a pastor. I like people. Good pastors are like that. I want to make people happy. I like people to like me. Most good pastors are that way. In churches people all have preferences. Extra-biblical opinions and likes. Preferences in the pew and in the pulpit. We all have them.
Since I like people I care about their preferences. Here’s the deal, though. Most churches don’t really grow and they don’t really shrink. They just swap sheep. The professing believers in an area just shift around… often on the basis of their preferences.
So I care about that because I like people… but there is something I care about more than people’s preferences. I care about the eternal souls of people. I care about people who don’t know their right hand from their left spiritually. The Bible has a name for people like this… they are called perishing. Perishing. Multitudes are perishing and they are all around us and we do little to befriend them and pray for them and reach them—often because we spend our time and energy on protecting our religious turf and defending our preferences. Many who are faithful in church attendance are more interested in maintaining museums than they are in establishing missions.
That’s just a fact. So, yes I care about your preferences. I like you. I want you to be happy. I want you to like me. I want you to be in my church—but not if I have to tell the rest of the community to go to hell. See what I mean?
September 20, 2016