When Elvis Presley finished his concert, the announcement was made. Elvis has left the building.
But I want to know who makes the announcement when GOD has left the building.
Upfront, I am not and never have been a fan of the rock style pastor driven megachurch.
In the news we are reading and hearing about megachurches, not for the work of God but more for the self-interest of individuals.
The well known Hillsong Church, Bethel Church, good grief even Joel Osteen’s church, and let’s not forget about the Catholic Church have been in the news because of self-indulgence on the part of individuals.
In New Zealand we have often heard the media attacks on Brian Tamaki’s Destiny Church and recently we see Arise Church in the spotlight.
What we are seeing now is nothing new.
You only must read the Bible and you’ll find many times where self-indulgence has seen the fall of Gods People.
One that stands out to me was the actions of Achan who against the orders of Joshua took some of the plunder from the city of Jericho.
It wasn’t until the next battle that Joshua realised GOD had left the building because of Achan’s indiscretion.
If you are familiar with the story, you know Achan’s sin was uncovered and he was punished severely for his crime.
And there are other examples where God had left the building so to speak, with the likes of David, and the entire nation of Judah.
But here’s the thing while God may not be in the house, he is still with his people, let’s not forget that.
There’s an old saying that’s so true, one bad apple can spoil the rest, but then they say one good apple in a bunch of bad apples won’t make them good.
True, but we know how effective just one good Christian can have on a workplace, or school.
But back to our modern-day church.
The mega church model is flawed in many ways, and we can see just how flawed that is.
But the question is in my mind, does that make the faith and belief of those who attend flawed as well?
I think not but it’s a fine line they walk.
You see God will always reveal wrongdoing and wrong doers.
Which makes me kind of surprised when I hear of Pastors who fail to live by the words they preach.
I said it was a fine line e.g., in the case of Arise Church in New Zealand or any other business model.
Businesses will always take advantage of those who are willing.
And those who are willing need to take some form of responsibility for the work, time, and effort they put into a job.
Even in the broadcasting industry which I came out of, I still recall young interns willing to work for nothing, to get experience, to get a foothold in the industry.
I accept every business has a Duty of Care to all, but I cannot but help think that those who volunteer need to also have a duty of care towards themselves.
Regardless of whether its business, church, or even a community project you will find someone who is prepared to go to the extreme to serve others.
To those who work voluntary in the name of GOD, I ask you to stop and examine your hearts and ask who am I, doing this for, is it my church, for God, or is it for my own self-indulgence.
Take heed of how God worked with creation, six days, and then he took a day off.
No one expects you to give more than you can, just give what is acceptable in Gods eyes.
Heed the example of the Widows giving found in the gospels.
There is so much wrong in the megachurch model, but then there is no perfect church.
ATM Machines in the foyer of Arise? Really? Name one church which doesn’t have a donation box.
We see and hear of many things these days, but the question always is still, why do, these things happen.
In the case of Destiny, its because their Pastor challenges the culture, in the case of Arise. Well perhaps it’s because they along with some other churches recently took a stand on Government Policy.
Has God left the building? possibly he may have never even been in your building, but we do know one thing is for sure, he will never forsake his church?