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Ankeny, Iowa

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Do Pastor's Teach Relevant Issues?    -   From:  http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/baldwin/140808


"On Thursday, George Barna – research expert and founder of The Barna Group – shared with American Family Radio's 'Today's Issues' about new information he's compiling at American Culture and Faith Institute over the last two years, gauging where theologically conservative pastors are at politically.

"'What we're finding is that when we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues. Then we ask them: Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues? – and the numbers drop...to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.'

.....

The report goes on: "Why the disconnect? According to Barna, the answer is simple. He suggests asking pastors how someone would know if their church is 'successful' – which he did."

"'There are five factors that the vast majority of pastors turn to [when asked that question],' he explained. 'Attendance, giving, number of programs, number of staff, and square footage.'"

There you have it: pastors are more concerned about being "successful" than they are being truthful. They believe if they tell their congregations the truth, their churches will not be "successful." And it is so refreshing to see Barna directly ask pastors what "success" means to them. So, now we know (as if we didn't know before; but, at least now there is definitive research to back it up). The vast majority of pastors believe church success lies in:

*Attendance
*Giving (money)
*Number of programs
*Number of staff
*Square footage (of facilities)

Shazam! Where did pastors come up with this definition of "success?" You know where: from men such as Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, et al.

The megachurch phenomenon of the last several decades transformed how pastors think and behave. Pastors read the "successful church" books and publications; they attend the "successful church" conferences; they watch the "successful church" videos, etc. They then try to mimic the tactics and strategies they have been taught. And if there is one constant theme promulgated by the likes of Osteen, Warren, and Hybels, it is pastors must avoid controversy like the plague. Again, one must realize that the goal is NOT being faithful to Biblical principles; the goal is building a "successful" church as noted above.

It is time for Christians to acknowledge that these ministers are not pastors; they are CEOs. They are not Bible teachers; they are performers. They are not shepherds; they are hirelings. It is also time for Christians to be honest with themselves: do they want a pastor who desires to be faithful to the scriptures, or do they want a pastor who is simply trying to be "successful?" BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF, CHRISTIAN FRIEND.

Barna's research blows the "ignorance" excuse out of the water. Again, it is not ignorance; it is deliberate disobedience.