IMPORTANT UPDATE 8/26/09: It’s Really Not About Church Growth, Marketing or Branding

[IMPORTANT UPDATE]

I thought you would want to celebrate with us what happened to my brother-in-law Monday morning. A great friend of mine visited him at the hospital in ICU and was able to share Jesus Christ with him again. He was broken and eager to hear the Gospel and prayed to receive Christ as his personal Lord and Savior! I spoke with him later that night (and several times since then) and he just kept celebrating that God had made him a new man! I thought you would want to know as a reminder that God is still at work in the hearts of people and he is mighty to save! Please pray for him as he begins what will most likely be a long and very challenging journey.

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[ORIGINAL POST]

Ten days ago, my sister left her second husband. She packed up, moved out and told him it was over. For as long as we can remember, he has struggled with alcohol and substance abuse and has had trouble keeping a job. Throughout the years, he’s become increasingly angry and possessive.

I guess she finally had her fill.

Yesterday morning, while most of us were asleep before launching dutifully into our full day of worship, church, and religious activities, he tried to commit suicide by getting drunk and overdosing on sleeping pills. Fortunately, they rushed him to the hospital, pumped his stomach and saved his life.

He’s in the hospital in recovery at this very moment.

Three weeks ago, my niece (not the daughter of my sister described above) left home having struggled all 19 years of her life to live a normal, healthy life with an intact family. So far, she’s been unsuccessful. Her home was plagued by legalism, superficial religiosity, substance abuse and domestic violence.

So, she left home (or was kicked out, we’re not really sure) and then called a relative to pick her up as she was walking alone on the highway with no food, no money and no place to live. She is caught up in substance abuse, sexual promiscuity (including several teen pregnancies) and all kinds of deceit.

And those are just the things we know about.

My parents divorced when I was five. My mom then remarried and divorced two more times. Our lives were full of alcohol abuse, domestic abuse and pain. There’s a lifetime of emotional carnage wrapped up in those divorces.

The world is full of broken people. My family is no exception. People whose lives have been chewed up and spit out by the spiritual death grip of the evil one. People with no hope, no purpose and no one who cares.

But God’s grace has invaded our lives.

I’ve chosen to be open about my messy family because it’s critical for those of us in ministry leadership to stay anchored in what really matters.

What really matters is this . . .

People need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We know Him, should share Him, then teach them to chase Him.

It’s really not about church growth, marketing or branding.

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15 thoughts on “IMPORTANT UPDATE 8/26/09: It’s Really Not About Church Growth, Marketing or Branding

  1. Thanks Michael.

    An update from this morning:

    A pastor friend of mine was able to visit my brother-in-law in ICU this morning and was able to share Jesus with him. He cried out to Him for salvation! Now he will begin the long road toward healing and recovery. Awesome though huh?

  2. I agree, Hannah. We are working to help build up a support network for him to get him through this very tough phase.

    I'm so thankful that He came to heal the brokenhearted!

    Thanks for your comments.

  3. That is so true, Jesus came for all the sinners. We all need to wake up and be reminded of what we were called to do. The church fellowship is great, but we are missing the point, if we are not reaching out to others in love, the ones who TRULY need a Savior… Not to reach out merely for numbers, or a quota, but for the love of CHRIST….. For the lost, hungry and sinful. We were all once sinners, but the grace and mercy of God saved us.

    Mark 2:17 (American Standard Version)

    "And when Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

    1 Timothy 1:15

    This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

    Matthew 9:13

    "But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

  4. Kerry,

    Thanks for being willing to open up and being real. I can totally relate to everything you say and it is a reminder that sometimes the things we think are important really aren’t. Focus on Jesus!

  5. @KerryBural–that's great!!!! Wow!! God is so good!

    Just to let you know I will be referencing you in my next blog post…so look out for the trackback. AND I probably will be sending out invite to you on Facebook and LinkedIn.

    Be blessed!

  6. Michael,

    No doubt! He is so good and I'm thankful that he came to seek and save that which was lost!!!!

    Thanks for the connection through Facebook and LinkedIn. Also, thanks for the trackback.

    Kerry

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  10. Many broken people have had a church background or are already believers but have left the church and some for good reason. The church should forget about name branding, marketing, and church growth and teach the revelation of scripture to the believers. As Christians overcome their Bible illiteracy over time they will understand the impact that they can individually have on our culture. How? By living the natural standard of who they are as Christ followers instead of the old sin nature life. I am all for Christians introducing folks to Jesus but does that same Christian posses a biblical worldview and know how to defend it? We don't need more pastors teaching application and starting programs – we need skillful Bible teachers teaching verse by verse revelation.