What’s that guy’s name?

RobDevotions

RememberingI really believe with every fiber of my being—that God is going to continue to do mind blowing things through this wonderful family of believers known as Southbrook Church!

Honestly, it’s a no-brainer. Because the Bible tells us in 2 Chronicles 16:9,

The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

And in Ephesians 3:15–20 as well,

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

That describes a whole lot of people at Southbrook these days. Not everyone, but a lot. I wish it was everyone—so does God. But it’s enough.

Enough for what? Well, how about taking a real close look at what we just read. The following line in particular,

to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine

I gotta be honest with you. I’ve got a pretty huge imagination. And I dream big because I serve a great big God. But be that as it may, I can’t out dream God.

You try it. Go ahead, think of the biggest, most God honoring, kingdom impacting thing you can.

Got it?

God can do more than that.

Can God build a church that impacts an entire community?

In His sleep (if He ever actually slept).

Could God turn a major city upside down for His glory?

With both hands tied behind His back (though, why bother? God is Spirit and this is metaphorical. Of course, Jesus could give it a whirl, I suppose. After all, He’s God).

Could God change a country?

The world?

He’s been there. Done that.

So, we need to have big faith, because it is impossible to please God without it. Hebrews 11:6 says,

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

So go ahead and ask God how you can line up with Him and do big things to make His name famous throughout the earth! Just make sure it’s His name you’re promoting.

Which leads me to the main reason for this post. Many churches today are seeing great big things happen in their midst but there’s a leak when it comes time to funneling the glory to God. And it’s a controlled leak that seems to by cyphening off most of the glory back to the leaders. It’s a very troubling shift. In looking at recent trends in the Church growth movement, I see a lot more glory going to individuals than goes to the God they claim to serve. This is sooooo unsettling in light of what God’s Word clearly teaches. Take a look,

Joshua spoke to Achan, “My son, give glory to God, the God of Israel. Make your confession to him. Tell me what you did. Don’t keep back anything from me.” Joshua 7:10

and here,

If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 2 Corinthians 5:13

and here,

As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 2 Corinthians 9:13

here,

and glory to God forever and ever! Amen Galatians 1:5

here,

God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. Ephesians 1:2

and here,

Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. 1 Peter 4:11

Please don’t ask for more. I’d be typing throughout the night. There is an endless supply of verses—almost as if God wanted to keep thumping it into our frontal lobes until we saw clearly that glory goes to Him—not us.

And yet, the trend is the polar opposite. Pastors are like Rock Stars today. The other day someone said to me that they get all nervous talking to me—almost like I’m a rock star. Immediately, I felt my heart catch in my throat.

She meant absolutely nothing wrong by it. It’s just that this image is all over growing churches. Whenever I hear it I all but beg the people to not think that way. I am God’s mouthpiece.

One of many.

Nothing more.

A fairly dorky one, truth be told.

But today we see pastors who travel with an entourage like they’re Paris Hilton or Brangelina (or however they spell this 2 headed monster). I think this saddens God because that glory belongs to Him alone.

There are books that bear only the pastor’s name as the title.

What is that? What’s the thing even about? The history of the name?

Ridiculous.

John the Baptist had it spot on when he said of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

That’s when I thought of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. It runs 20,000 on the weekends and has radically transformed an entire community and much of the state. But, for the life of me, I can never remember the pastor’s name who presided over all that growth.

Bob something, I think. Hold on, I’ll look it up.

Bob Russell. Ok, I was right about the Bob part. But why is it so hard to remember the pastor who God used to build one of the largest, most impactful ministries in the USA?

Because, over 30 years, Bob was a deflector. He constantly deflected the glory aimed at him back to it’s rightful recipient—God. There are many others as well. Andy Stanley at Northpoint in Georgia seems to go to great lengths to make sure his name isn’t the main deal on their website. And his preaching is extremely powerful and practical without him acting like he knows it.

And one of my favorites, Mark Drisscoll manages to get back to the name of Jesus about every 12.3 seconds of a sermon. Awesome!

Contrast this with some of the others. At one particular website I went through page after page after page of their site and could never shake away form the pastor’s name. It was everywhere and on everything—coffee mugs, tee shirts, even a clothing line!

_______ and ____________ jeans.

I’ll stick with Levis. And I don’t even know who that guy was. Was Levi his first name or last name?

You know what would be the greatest compliment people could say about the leader of a church that impacted tens of thousands of people, saw multitudes come to Christ and made a real impact worldwide for the kingdom of God?

“What was that guy’s name again?”