How to Grow a BIG, SUCCESSFUL Church
by Pastor Greg Wilson
In these difficult days in which we live it is still possible to grow
a BIG, SUCCESSFUL Church. It does, however, require a great deal of sacrifice.
Sacrifice that I, frankly, am unwilling to make! A preacher must first
sacrifice his principles, then his integrity, his convictions, and his
self-respect in order to tickle the ears of a wicked and untoward generation
that will not endure the sound doctrines of Godís Word.
To be BIG AND SUCCESSFUL you must be careful not to offend the current
mores on the issues of divorce and remarriage. Great numbers are involved
in this modern day polygamy. So to grow and maintain a BIG, SUCCESSFUL
Church you must take care in how you address this subject. You may still
speak of your personal preference against divorce. You may still present
it as the "the last option" to be contemplated. Be careful, however, not
to mention the Biblical view that it is never acceptable in the eyes of
God. Never reveal that remarriage following a divorce cannot be justified
Scripturally. Be prepared to ignore the Scriptural prohibitions and put
remarried, divorced people in prominent positions within the church. Otherwise
you will offend this large portion of the populace. A willingness to perform
marriages for those who have been previously divorced will also go a long
way towards filling the auditorium on Sunday morning. Try not to be disturbed
that you are making light of a practice that is hated by God. Or that the
results of your compromise will be reaped bountifully in the wrecked marriages
of the next generation coming up within the church.
To be BIG AND SUCCESSFUL make sure you distance yourself from the stand
our Baptist forefathers took against the observance of the pagan, Roman
holidays. Though Christmas and Easter remain a stench in the nostrils of
a Holy God, they have become almost universally revered. If you dare to
speak the truth about their origins or point out the clear Biblical prohibitions
against involvement in these ways of the heathen, you will effectively
alienate the vast majority of your prospects. If you crave bigness and
success, you must be prepared to sanctify, glorify, and honor these days
that arose directly from the pit of hell. Have special Cantatas and Programs
and pretend that these pagan rites highly honor God.
To be BIG AND SUCCESSFUL it is still OK to rant and rave about being
a Baptist "with a big B." But donít make an issue of it when folks offer
themselves for membership from other denominations or apostate Southern
Baptist Churches. The fact that their baptisms are Scripturally invalid
must not prevent their reception into the membership, otherwise you might
be stigmatized as an "ANA-BAPTIST." And you can hardly expect the multitudes
to flock to you today if you take such an unpopular stance. Try not to
be made too uneasy as you trample under foot the rivers of blood shed by
our Baptist forefathers for their unyielding Biblical convictions about
You can still be BIG AND SUCCESSFUL and preach hard against sin. Just
make sure that the sins you preach hard against are not the ones being
practiced by the more prominent members of your congregation. Pornography,
witchcraft, and abortion are still relatively safe issues. Be careful,
however, when you address such things as modesty and gender appropriate
clothing, smoking, drinking, Masonry and the other secret societies, tithing,
gambling, attendance at the theater, and television. Or better yet, just
donít address these issues at all.
One of the most important things to do in building a BIG AND SUCCESSFUL
church is to either eliminate or dilute the Biblical teachings concerning
repentance. Many people will be willing to make a "profession of faith"
so long as they know it will not interfere with their lifestyle. Preaching
the Biblical essentials of repentance and forsaking of sin is bound to
severely limit the number you can claim to have "reached for Christ." So
seek to preach conversion as an escape from the consequences of sin that
need not have any effect on how life is lived in the here and now. Try
not to concern yourself that these "converts" are now made "two-fold
more the children of hell."
Yes, you can still build a BIG, SUCCESSFUL church in these difficult
days in which we live. And I pray that in light of the compromise that
it requires that God will keep this preacher from it!