A Catholic bishop’s favorite growth consultant

On the drive home from work I enjoy listening to sermons from local evangelical pastor, David Crespo,Rick Warren, Kevin William Vann on the radio. David’s messages are very simple and straightforward, and always with practical life applications. Unfortunately, the station hasn’t played David’s sermons the past couple of weeks so I’ve resorted to listening to Al Kresta’s talk show on the local Catholic station. I already listen to Catholic talk radio at work every day for at least one hour, to get the Catholic slant and to keep abreast of what’s going on, so I don’t relish hearing more of the same on the drive home. But there’s no other evangelical preaching on the air at 4:30. Maybe I’ll start bringing the many John MacArthur CDs that I have but haven’t listened to yet for the drive home. Yup, that’s the ticket!

Anyway, I was listening to Kresta the other day and he had a priest as a guest on the show. Sorry, I don’t recall his name or where he was from. This priest said that the churches in his diocese have been experiencing significant drops in attendance so the bishop turned to a famous evangelical pastor with a growing mega-church for advice on how to bring the membership back and even attract new converts. Who was this evangelical pastor? Of course, it was Purpose Driven, Rick Warren. Rick flew out to this diocese and conducted a seminar to help the bishop and his parish priests boost their numbers. I drove down the road shaking my head but I wasn’t at all surprised. Warren has shown many times in the past that he is a very good friend to Rome. Can anyone imagine a Spurgeon or a Lloyd-Jones or a John MacArthur acting as a consultant to a Catholic bishop? Oy vey! Catholicism teaches a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. The only consulting those gentlemen would have done would have been to advise the priests and remaining pew sitters to repent of their sins, accept Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith, and remove themselves from Roman error. The priest said those in attendance were excited by Warren’s advice and looked forward to putting it into practice.

Warren and many other mega-church pastors bow down to the idol of numbers. It’s all about growing attendance. Is there any place for right doctrine and right salvation theology? Naw, just turn the service into a rock concert and preach a lowest-common-denominator message and they will come! No need for divisive doctrine because “we all just love Jesus!” Isn’t that right, Rick?

5 thoughts on “A Catholic bishop’s favorite growth consultant

  1. Our church numbers around 1300 each week in attendance and leadership is always gaming for more. It is for the purpose of reaching and transforming the lost (good), but I sometimes struggle with the obvious costs involved in keeping a large staff, multiple buildings, fancy coffee etc. We support our church whenever they call and by regular giving, but part of we worries if the “big-ness” and associated bureaucracy isn’t a turnoff. A friend once told me that she stopped attending the same church long ago because she felt so pressured to give. Maybe we haven’t felt that way because we have more means and because each time we gave it seemed that we received in some way and didn’t really miss the funds. I may be straying from the topic at hand, but overall, I think big churches are attractive to some and do plenty of good, and we can’t miss the fact that “adding to the numbers saved” each day is important. For me personally, to have any affect on a fellow sinner, I need to be relating personally to them in a very real way on common ground or “their turf.” I we leave it to our churches, that’s just another method and we aren’t doing our work. My husband and I have found that being out with people of all kinds in very natural settings, communicating about daily things, often gives us the opportunity to indulge in “Jesus freak” moments that come about naturally. It often begins with, an “it was a God thing…” like statement and by the other’s response we usually know how to move forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bonsai. I didn’t mean to imply that all mega churches are necessarily bad, only that at some mega churches, like Rick Warren’s Saddleback, doctrine is completely overshadowed in the quest for numbers. They won’t admit to it but in such churches emphasis on doctrine is seen as an impediment to growth. So the goal becomes to find the theological lowest common denominator that will appeal to the masses.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What’s the saying…a bird of a feather flock together?
    These days when I drive I listen to what I download on my kindle to ensure sound teachings…sometimes what’s on the radio can be…disappointing. MacArthus is one name that I listen to from time to time!

    Liked by 1 person

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