Friday, November 13, 2009

Desperate Church Leaders

Al Mohler comments on a story about churches who are having special services for people and their pets. I've long heard of Roman Catholic churches that have a special service where pets are blessed. But this particular story features Protestant churches doing the same, and a handful having not an annual "special" service but regular services complete with treats and trinkets for the animals. One pastor featured in the report says he hopes that having these services will help revitalize his aging church and help people love God as much as their pets.


Well, we must eagerly desire the revitalization of churches that have experienced decline--whether the decline comes from an aging congregation or other things. We love the church. And so, we pray for her vibrancy and power.

But c'mon. "Woof 'n Worship" and "Canines at Covenant." Depending upon pets to put the power in the gospel is beyond desperate. And it's the wrong kind of desperation. It's an unleashed pragmatism.

We want that kind of desperation that pleads often and long with the Lord to send laborers into the harvest, to enlarge the work of His Holy Spirit, to stoke burning zeal in the hearts of His people, to touch the preacher's tongue with burning coals from off the altar. We ought to be desperate, but the means of expressing our desperation should be the means established by God Himself in His word. After all, it's God who both creates the longing in our hearts and satisfies it with his presence.

I read Mohler's commentary and I was made freshly grateful for the over 95% of churches who don't stoop to such things, but trust God in more biblical fashion. I was made thankful for the churches that hold differing ministry philosophies than my own, but who nonetheless stay far away from such gimmicks. I'm thankful the Lord has a very large remnant that has not bowed the knee to Spot and Fido.

Lord, we praise you for everyday, mundane faithfulness and trust in your Word. And Lord, please fill our desperation with more of Yourself.

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