If we entertain people, our church will grow. If we lead in worship, our church may shrink until it is composed of a group of people who want to worship. Then the church has a chance to grow based on the precedent of worship. The church that worships will have many visitors who never come back, and a few who cannot stay away.
– David Hansen, The Art of Pastoring

If Jesus had a church in Simi Valley, I betcha mine would be bigger. I betcha if the Apostle Paul had a church in Simi Valley, mine would be bigger. In fact, I betcha people would be leaving their churches to come to mine. Because I don’t call them to the same commitment that Jesus called them to. Jesus would have a crowd of thousands of people, and by the time he’s done preaching, there’s, you know, a few left and he goes, “You guys wanna leave also? ‘Cause I’m gonna walk out here and you gotta leave your father, your mother, your wife, your kids, and there might be a bunch of crosses out there, and we’re just all gonna get crucified together. You wanna come with me?”

That wasn’t real popular. I think, man, I’m more popular than Jesus. I can keep a crowd. I can keep ‘em interested. I can say some interesting things. I can make ‘em laugh. I can keep ‘em coming. And it just bugged me, because I think, wait a second, that’s not right. Am I really willing to say whatever Jesus called me to say?

Francis Chan

If you follow the link, watch the whole thing to the end. Chan closes with a dramatic challenge based on his refusing a building campaign proposal. The crowd applauds, but I hope that translated to actual take-home-to-church resolutions.

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2 thoughts on “Crucify Success and Say What Jesus Said”

  1. Vitamin Z says:

    In reference to the Hansen quote:The tough part about this is that we might not know who is being entertained and who is actually worshiping. Only God completely knows the hearts of our people and of our worship leaders. If our worship leaders are attempting to lead well with undistracting excellence then our people may or may not be entertained. God only knows and most likely there might be some grey area residing in our sinful hearts. Let’s fight to see through cool music to the God who provides our salvation in Jesus.

  2. jagis says:

    i don’t know if it did for them, but it does for me. we have just started to get something going for our church and this is what I am striving for. here is my one hang up. I went to a church that border the supressive for a long time and my fear with preaching is that it will cross over. i want to call people to all out devotion to God.

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Jared C. Wilson


Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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