34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. -Matthew 24:34-36 (KJV)
There is a great amount of talk across the web about what is going to be the “next big thing.” Just a few short years ago, 2005 to be exact, the web site “MySpace” was the all the rage. Kids and adults alike were flocking to the web site to set up accounts and design their own personal MySpace page. As Facebook grew in popularity I had a feeling MySpace might not be around for long. As it turns out I was right. The web site is about to sold for a paltry 35 million – a mere pittance in the world of billion dollar Internet sales. So, what will be the next new Internet craze? Your guess is as good a mine.
Around 20 years or so ago we began to hear talk of a new movement in church ministry known as “Seeker Friendly” churches. At its heart the philosophy is one of making unbelievers as comfortable as possible with church by removing anything which looks like what we would think of as traditional. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California is credited with beginning this particular movement. In recent years countless churches have adopted this approach to ministry with widely varying results.
Since the seeker friendly movement began we have seen some interesting approaches to ministry. There are now “drive-in” churches as well as “drive-through” churches. Some non-traditional churches offer coffee, soft drinks, and other refreshments which can be enjoyed during the actual worship time. Well, nothing draws folks in like coffee and doughnuts, I suppose. As you might have read in a recent blog, I have a weakness for doughnuts, yet I prefer to wait until before or after church when I need a “doughnut fix.”
Through all of this I have continued to stay the course in ministry; at the church where I am Pastor we hold to a more traditional worship service, yet I notice some folks wearing suits and ties while others wear blue jeans and more casual clothes. We keep singing the old faithful hymns with a mix of praise choruses and southern gospel. And I keep striving to preach the Word of God as the Lord leads. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a fad or a craze. The gospel of Jesus is the truth and it’s here to stay.
My main concern is for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed. As long as this is being done and souls are being saved, then let us rejoice. So, what’s the next big thing in church growth? My prayer is it will always be the gospel of Jesus Christ, for as our Lord said, His words will never pass away.