I heard a speaker recently talk about ministry as a fusion of calling and gifting. Both the call and the gifting are given by God to those he chooses to minister to his church. And both the calling and the gifting must be operational for ministry to be effective.
It has been my observation that the amount of control that a person attempts to exert over their environment is directly proportional to their level of insecurity. Insecure people feel a need to control their environment and those around them.
Some church does something. It appears to be successful based on attendance numbers. Others then seek to find the method or program that was used to generate the good result. We shorten the sermon, use video feeds, turn up the music, redesign the décor, or hire consultants to try to produce similar results.
The answer given is, “Christ’s exaltation consists in his rising again from the dead on the third day; in ascending into heaven; in sitting at the right hand of God the Father; and in coming to judge the world at the last day.”
The shiny wrapping will not keep people coming in for the same reason that I am unlikely to ever buy a chocolate Easter bunny ever again. As always, what is on the inside is what counts.
Jesus warned us that there would be people in our churches with improper motives for being there. The parable of the wheat and tares is one place where Jesus makes this distinction.
We can also be encouraged by the thought that through his death on our behalf, Jesus also secured the ultimate defeat of our enemy. He will one day return to complete the victory over evil and make everything right.
Our disagreements and discussions operate like the chisel of a sculptor. They are used to remove the stuff that mars the image that the creator sees in us.