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Do You Want Fries With That?

Monday, November 5, 2018

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“We do not consider soul winning to be accomplished by hurriedly inscribing more names upon our church-roll, in order to show a good increase at the end of the year.” – C.H. Spurgeon

I was absolutely horrified!

There I was, sitting in a huge convention center in New Orleans, as the newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention was being introduced. He seemed to be a nice guy and his academic credentials were impeccable. And yes, his ministry experience was equally impressive.

However, what struck me as strange – and more than a little inappropriate – was the following statement: “His church led the SBC in salvations and baptisms for the past two years.”

Excuse me? Since when did we start keeping score – and measuring ministry success – like it was an NFL playoff game, pitting one church against another?

Even worse is an unnamed evangelistic ministry in Africa that claims “78,268,854 salvation decision cards and counting” on its website. That kind of competitive nonsense reminds me more of the “billions of burgers served” signs that used to adorn McDonald’s restaurants than it does a humble and Christ-centered ministry.

Truth be told, some of the most faithful and diligent Christian workers I know have labored in Muslim countries or behind the Iron Curtain for decades with very few converts. Does that mean that they are any less “successful” than their peers in the U.S. who lead megachurches and record thousands of decisions for Christ annually? Hardly.

I guess that’s why Chuck Colson’s ministry motto was, “Faithfulness, not success.” Another way of putting it would be, “Faithfulness is success.”

My dear pastors and fellow ministry leaders, let’s recognize that we are all on the same team. Better yet, let’s praise our Coach and what HE has done instead of promoting our own meager accomplishments.

“And do not be conformed to this world…” Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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