Tag Archives: church growth

No Glory For God When Churches Go “DirectTV”

DirectTV adIn a world of “cord cutters” who increasingly get their content online, cable companies are locked in a brutal battle for “pay TV customers.” And as the pool of pay TV customers shrinks, the battle has gotten meaner and nastier than ever. Just ask Comcast how they felt about DirectTV’s recent campaign!

If you haven’t seen the Rob Lowe ads, here’s the gist. Basically, attractive, happy Rob Lowe watches DirectTV, while his alter-egos (ie., Super Creepy Rob Lowe, Scrawny Arm Rob Lowe, and Broken Down, Less Attractive Rob Lowe) have cable. Basically, if you want to be like successful Rob, switch to DirectTV. If not, keep cable. And it appears to be working.

Though DirectTV had lost 28,000 subscribers in the 3rd quarter of 2014, “when the campaign started its run, the company gained 149,000 subscribers.” That hurts. So Comcast appealed to the National Advertising Division, and the NAD actually agreed that DirectTV should pull the ads. Sorry, DirectTV, but some claims are just TOO outlandish!

It is striking to me that the Church might be facing a similar problem today. And as the pool of Bible-believing, church-attending people shrinks, some churches might panic and feel the need to “go DirectTV” in response. But churches aren’t cable companies! And while it might add numbers in the short run, growing a congregation by shrinking another doesn’t bring glory to God.

Now, I want to be clear – I don’t mean that we need to quit denouncing false religion. False religion needs to be denounced (Paul says they need to be “silenced,” ie., Titus 1:11). And I’m not saying anyone should stop promoting their positives (Paul praises congregations that are doing well, ie., Colossians 1:3-4). But before talking negatively about another congregation, churches ought to consider one simple question: “Does this follow God’s model for growth?”

Why would we emulate the failed system of customer swapping when the pool of unbelievers has so much more potential to bring glory to God? Let’s go into ALL the world, making disciples, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:18-20).

The truth is, gaining new “customers” is hard. It costs far more time, effort, and money. It causes us to go into unfamiliar territory. It forces us to speak to those who, in many cases, have “cut the cord” of religion altogether. Yet, the only model Jesus gave us was to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). And to God be the glory!

A New Work!

Good news! For the last month and a half, Krista and I have been diligently meeting with a number of congregations in the Lord’s Church. I have had the privilege of speaking at many wonderful congregations as Krista and I have been traveling and meeting brothers and sisters in Christ. After much prayer and diligent study, we are excited to accept the position of pulpit minister with the church of Christ at Clover, SC.

The Clover church is truly a mission field from the ground up. This work began as a church plant under the oversight of the Gold Hill Road church in Fort Mill, which began under the oversight of the Charlotte Avenue church in Rock Hill. After years of planning, Charlotte Avenue’s work paid off with a successful church – Gold Hill Road (Fort Mill). Now, Gold Hill Road is looking to increase the Lord’s church in York County with another new congregation in Clover, SC.

We were drawn to this work by the successful track record of these churches, the work that is still left to be done in York County, and the willingness among the saints at Clover to work and grow the church. Currently, the Clover congregation is meeting in local schools on Sundays and Wednesdays, but we look forward to breaking ground in the next few weeks on a new building. Already averaging an attendance in the 60’s, we look forward to growing the church physically and spiritually as we reach out to the lost, embrace the community, and help those in need.

It is, of course, with a sad heart that we leave our brothers and sisters in Knoxville, TN. We have truly enjoyed our time at the East Tennessee School of Preaching and the Karns congregation, as well as, our home congregation at West End. It was a privilege to be asked to help fill the pulpit over the last year and a half at West End where I was baptized almost six years ago. We are thankful for the encouragement, the spiritual development, and the support this church has given us in our desire to teach and preach the word of God.

Jesus instructs us to go into all the world making disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all things which He has commanded. As we take this step of faith to reach the lost, we ask for your prayers for this great work. May God bless each of us in the work that we do for His Kingdom!