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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Tuesday thoughts..
Scenario One
The congregation came to church week after week, year after year.

With the exception of their own children, and the occasional "man off the street" the congregation saw no new converts.

The congregation wasn't sharing their "faith."

In comes a new pastor who is determined to see this small church grow into a large church. Not a sermon goes by that he doesn't mention how a Christian is "supposed to be an evangelist" - inside two months the whole congregation has absorbed through constant repetition the verse where Paul encourages Timothy to "do the work of an evangelist."

Still, nothing happens.

The pastor then turns to various Evangelism programs - putting his people through the paces - teaching them techniques on "how to share their faith." Months go by, and much money and energy is spent on training.

Still, nothing happens. The pastor calls in an "evangelist" - who sets up special meetings - and the congregation is encouraged to drag in as many unsaved people as they can - the hope is that some of them might be saved.

A couple of decisions are made, but amount to nothing - and more than a few "re-dedications" happen, but in three weeks it is as if nothing had happened.

The pastor decides to give up, and is "called" somewhere else - and after a time, a new pastor comes in and the whole process starts again.

Scenario Two
The congregation came to church week after week, year after year.

With the exception of their own children, and the occasional "man off the street" the congregation saw no new converts.

The congregation wasn't sharing their "faith."

In comes a new pastor who is determined to see this small church grow into a large church. He looks to the market to see what other pastors are doing to make their churches bigger - and he begins to adopt the latest greatest approach.

He finds a way to market the church to the community, and in a few short years its standing room only. The band gets up and plays for 45 minutes, and everyone smiles and claps their hands and "worships" - nothing too heavy or convicting - we don't want to lay a trip on these people.

They have to build a bigger church - something with better lighting and a bigger "stage" and better acoustics. The latest audio/visual is needed, and new and interesting ways are being found to "share" the "truth." It is a no-holds barred church - come as you are... and stay that way.

Scenario Three
The congregation came to church week after week, year after year.

With the exception of their own children, and the occasional "man off the street" the congregation saw no new converts.

The congregation wasn't sharing their "faith."

In comes a new pastor who (frankly) could care less how big the church is - his job isn't to make the church big - it is to shepherd the church so that all the sheep are healthy, well fed, and safe.

In no time at all the shepherd notices that something is wrong with the flock - they have the glassy eyed stare of carnality. They have no hunger to re-produce because they are not living in obedience to God's Spirit. In fact, their "Christianity" has become nothing more than a form - a series of habitual obligations intended to suppress the outward expression of sin. There is no life in them per say, but their meticulously bandaged corpse is dressed to the nines.

His ministry over the next few years is to take these dead bones and speak life into them again. But there are some in the congregation who are utterly opposed to this - they are satisfied with their lovelessness - have grown used to it, and regard it as healthy and even normative. They want the church to be big and pleasant - they want methods, they want numbers, and they especially want their pet theologies stroked regularly. These rail behind the back of the pastor until they have enlisted enough of a following to rail to his face.

The pastor doesn't seem alarmed by this turn of events - in fact he was expecting it, and isn't even put off by it, because he isn't in it for his reputation, he isn't in it for himself, and he isn't in it for the church either. He is in it for the Lord.

posted by Daniel @ 1:31 PM  
4 Comments:
  • At 3:26 PM, March 28, 2006, Blogger BugBlaster said…

    Ugh, I've been in all three churches.

    When you become a full time pastor Daniel, please be #3.

     
  • At 3:39 PM, March 28, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Well, I must confess that we are presently in scenario #1.

    I have been in #3 before and will testify that the pastor (or whoever has the guts to take a stand for the truth) will definitely take some flak from the sheep.

    When you're ready for #3, God will open a door for you brother.

    Excellent insights,
    Jim

     
  • At 4:05 PM, March 28, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    Daniel,

    Right on target. I was called to just such a church 18 months ago, and we had a couple of wolves to boot. The Lord in His grace allowed us to get those guys out of there, and then the work started. 16 the first week, oh boy, but within a year, and nothing but preaching, Sunday morning services only, and a nursing home ministry, we had 40 solid. We baptized 25 brand new converts, and an entire family.

    The head of the household of this family has consistently had someone new in church for over a year, every week or every couple of months, someone new to disciple. Former Catholic. Real fruit, real convert, real hunger, real repentance. It can happen.

    We had had the greatest number of missionary $ ever spent by this church (it used to be over 150 people) in 2004, but we 250% it in 2005, praise God! The old guard said that if we paid a minister (me) we would never be able to keep giving to missions, but lo and behold, amen.

    In the last six months, we have been preaching on the book of Romans, verse by verse, and have only gotten to verse 8 so far (by the way you can see all of this at my site: thanks for visiting earlier, it meant a lot to me, really.)

    It seems as if these people have had nothing but every fad that has come down the pike thrown at them. They were tired, and bored, and careless, and lack any sense of discernment at all.

    Added a Wednesday service at the beginning of the year, average 12, but on fire for God. Topic, sanctification. Now all of a sudden, the old few who remain have been fidgeting about the sin being brought up and dealt with, and I am being accused of being "to harsh" when pointing out the errors of the seeker movement, purpose driven, etc. It is as if you were Tozer or something :)

    Being faithful to the gospel, that is what it is all about. Call sin what it is, call people to repentance, call believers to become grounded in God's Word, call leaders to exercise discernment, call your core to increased holiness, and answer God's call. What is His call?

    Here it is: whereever you are most Christlike, that is where He wants you. One caveat: that doesn't mean staying in the closet, we are not to be monks, but missionaries.

    The fight is a fight to be faithful, if anyone is doing that, they will hear God loud and clear as to what He wants them to do.

    Even So...

     
  • At 10:08 PM, March 28, 2006, Blogger Theteak said…

    Your writing is the reason why I don't have many "And now for something serious posts over at my blog." You write very well and that was right on target - made me think of a few Churches I've been involved in over the years. Every pastor should aspire to #3! Not for reputation, not for self, but for the sheep.
    Well done brother, Soli Deo Gloria...

     
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