Our Church Shrinkage Seminar Part 1
Why We Will Never Become a Mega-“Church”
If you join our worship services, you will hear our opening words as the Call to Worship, Invocation, God’s Greeting, Opening Prayer, and Opening Psalm of Praise.
Afterwards, you will hear some of the following harsh words, and wonder why we try our best to shrink our churchgoers:
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me
Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (Psa 51:7).
Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster (Joel 2:13).
To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets (Dan 9:9, 10).
Correct me, O Lord, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath (Jer 10:24; Psa 6:1).
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt 3:2).
I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (Luke 15:18, 19).
Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you (Psa 143:2).
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins andÂ to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
(1John 1:8, 9).
After hearing these unentertaining words, you will hear further disconcerting words from the pastor:
DEARLY beloved brethren, the Scripture moves us, in various places, to acknowledge and confess our many sins and wickedness; and that we should not hide them before the face of Almighty God our heavenly Father; but confess them with a humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart, in order that we may obtain forgiveness of our sins, by his infinite goodness and mercy. And although we ought, at all times, humbly to acknowledge our sins before God; yet ought we most chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things that are requisite and necessary for body and soul. Therefore I pray and urge you, as many as are here present, to accompany me, with a pure heart and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me:
Then the pastor will lead you into a prayer that will destroy everything you learned from your most recent self-esteem seminar:
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, We have erred and strayed from Thy ways, like lost sheep, We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done. And we have done those things which we ought not to have done. And there is no health in us. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Thou spare them, O God, who confess their fault. Thou restore those who are penitent, According to Thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of Thy holy Name. Amen.
So if you want to be uplifted, affirmed and loved, “come as you are” to a megachurch. They’ll shower you with God’s “unconditional love” from the get-go with love songs to Jesus and with a “God is good all the time” mantra. Don’t come to our church.