Reading in Eugene Peterson’s biography (and remembering this story from his memoir), there was the time in beginning Christ Our King church that they finally built their building. It was a glorious time. Then, people began to disappear.
People would not come for weeks at a time. Peterson didn’t know what was happening, so he went to see a denominational leader. “What do I do?”
The advice: “Build another building.”
Peterson replied another building wasn’t needed. Maturing as a congregation was needed.
The supervisor was adamant: “People need something tangible, something they can get their hands on, a challenge, a goal. Trust me. I’ve been through this before…”
Then those words that just bring death to my soul: “It’s the American way.“
Just build another building. Get another project. Just be American.
This is our downfall in the American church. There is a longing to be Americans first. Actually, it’s a determination. That determination is choking off the gospel and the Kingdom of God.
What we need is to cry out for the KINGDOM way. We need to cry out for maturity in the Kingdom and a desire to learn the way of the Spirit.
The “build another building” or “hold another fundraiser” or “do another project” mentality is choking us as a church in America.
Lord, we have not learned.
Lord, teach us!