There are generally several series underway at the Evangelical Portal at any one moment. One I have begun to develop addresses pastors of prominent churches (some “megachurches”) and deals with the question of how the growth of a congregation affects the life of the pastor. How do pastors find themselves tempted to spiritual pride as they see the numbers of their flock begin to swell? How do pastors deal with the tensions and pressures that come from guiding large congregations? How do they keep focused on what is most profoundly and eternally important?
As it happens, John Piper’s recent announcement of an 8-month sabbatical from public ministry has focused attention on precisely this set of questions. Piper explained that he wanted to enter into a period in which there will be no “prideful sipping form the poisonous cup of international fame and notoriety.”
Given the increasing prevalence of megachurches, this is an exceedingly important set of questions for American Christendom today. If churches and pastors cannot remain focused on the matters of absolute and eternal significance as they grow and expand, then they should simply not grow and expand. Better to remain a church of humble size than to lose sight of the first love.
For more, see this entry at Out of Ur.