Your Church Is Too Small
I commend this article for you to read. It is a very detailed review of the 2012 Hillsong conference. It is devastating in its conclusions and reflects what is so wrong with the church today.
The title of my post is a simple rip-off of the author’s title. Here is where it comes from:
There’s a reason the Scriptures place such a high burden on teachers of God’s word—from Ezekiel’s call to be a watchman (a burden taken up by the apostle Paul) to the instructions in the Pastoral Epistles to find men of sound character, godly convictions, and ability to teach the word of God faithfully and well. One reason such a burden is placed on the teachers of God’s word is to ensure that the people of God are actually taught God’s word. That seems like a self-evident statement until you see how they aren’t fed. No-one who came to that conference heard of the need for forgiveness (by God, that is, for our sins). No-one heard about what Jesus accomplished. There was no mention of salvation from God’s wrath through the atoning work of the cross, or of how God’s Spirit works in us to make us more and more like our Lord Jesus, or of how we look forward to and long for the day of his return.
There may have been 20,000 people in the room, gathered as one church under Christ, but the church was too small. It was too small because the gospel being proclaimed was too small: it was just about you and me, and how God makes our lives better. We weren’t really being gathered together under Christ, we were gathered together as a large collection of individuals. Not only was the form of preaching individual—the preacher sharing what God had revealed to him or her personally—but the content was individual too: God’s revelation to the preacher is about a promise to make your life better. How unlike the way that Paul talks about what God has done in and for us! God chose us before the foundation of the world. (emphasis mine)
What stood out to me in the article was the serious disconnect between the content of the speakers (I cannot in good conscience call them preachers) and the singing, which was very gospel rich. However, when Steve Furtick is the most biblical preacher in the event then you already know it is trouble. Sharing that stage was prosperity/word of faith preachers Joyce Meyer and Joseph Prince. These are not people equipped to bring any truth and wisdom to the people, and they delivered exactly what they are capable of doing, nothing. Sadly, though the music was apparently very solid, it is not designed to equip the saints like sound exposition of the bible is. So 20,000 people came to hear God speak through His Word and got silliness and smoke instead.Read the article, it is filled with painful but excellent observations. And if you are interested in hearing the most biblical sermon in that conference here it is: It was gut wrenching for me to watch it.