You know, I really do love the Church. Like with anything else, it has its problems and I’m not one to shy away from criticizing. Thus my blogs on empire building, reconsidering mega-churches, and the problems of the prosperity gospel.

There comes a point where pastors or churches shift from doing Kingdom work into legacy mode. Where a church decides to spend $12, $22, or $27M dollars on a building project, to create essentially a bigger altar to itself. At what point do you shake yourself and ask what are you doing and who are you doing it for?

The church has adopted the ways of the world and is completely oblivious to it. Copying the attitudes and methods that worked so well for them individually in life and the corporate world.This follows from a mindset that has turned church-goers into consumers of the show: We’ve become part of the cult of personality, shopping for the speakers who can best tickle our ears, complainers about the music, the lights, the sound, the production – forgetting about what it means to worship. Church became about our needs. We want to be surrounded by a lot of voices, we want programs to keep us in our Christian cocoons, we want to be able to brag about what we can do. In other words,

The church has adopted the ways of the world and isn’t aware of it. Though there is often a spirit of generosity, the mindset of such churches extols the virtue of size, power, and influence. They become guilty of pride. The church also values a kind of “collective individualism” as the individual churches want to make names for themselves, want to be able to do what they want, when they want, how they want … on their terms. They are well-educated, live in nice houses, make nice livings, and are well-respected. They have become about protecting their comfort and thus compromising your first love.

Too often, large or small, churches become about maintenance: their buildings and programs, rallying their flocks behind the latest cause or protest, keeping their numbers up and in the process depersonalizing relationships. Growing by stealing members from other churches and putting butts in pews in order to cultivate pew potatoes is not really growing the Kingdom. Yet as long as butts are accounted for (and giving), they assume that your needs are being met.

Churches, how much of what you do is more about ego and leaving your imprint, your mark, in church history and compromising the Gospel message in the process? Don’t be reduced to being about buildings, budgets, and butts.