Christian Post had an interview the other day with Brother Andrew, author of “God’s Smuggler.” A number of questions addressed his perspective on the American Church and in particular, the growing trend toward mega-churches (Churches over 2000). I thought the following exchange was worth passing on. [Bold and underline emphasis added by me in Brother Andrew’s answer.]
CP: I want to get your assessment on how the American mega-churches are doing in terms of supporting the persecuted Church. In 2009, Rick Warren held a forum on the persecuted church, and Dr. Carl Moeller, former Open Doors USA president, he was part of that. And in 2011, John Piper, Matt Chandler, David Platt, Rick Warren, and other mega-church pastors were part of a Twitter campaign to help imprisoned Afghan Christian Said Musa. So what is your assessment of how mega-churches in America and their influential pastors are doing in terms of advocating and supporting the persecuted church?
Brother Andrew: Let me first say, I refuse to be negative. Whatever they see as their calling, they have to pursue with all their power. It does not make me envious to see a mega-church because I don’t see that in the Scripture. The church was always low-keyed, there were places where there were tens of thousands of believers, like Ephesus, and they had no building at all. And nowadays any place in your country, if there are ten or 20, or 100 members – you have to have a church – bigger, bigger, bigger. I don’t see it in the Scripture. It’s clearly not my calling, that is again not meant as criticism. God can use the church for bigger influence, provided that bigger church means more power with God, more anointing from the Holy Spirit, passion for the lost people, and not people who are in charge who are on an ego trip and just make their own name big, writes lots of books, and television and all that. All that often ends in total disaster and the church that is growing in comparison, you might say some house churches or underground churches in China are mega-churches when you think of the number of members, but they have no mega building, they certainly have no mega salary, no mega fame, and no mega books, and all that.
I think God has a different set of values and we should do well to look into that from Scripture and be humble. If people are being used by the Lord, praise God for that, and I am not envious and I wish them success. And I have been at Rick Warren’s church. They gave me a special award for being old and still following Jesus. Can you think of that? So I got up for the big thank you, and I said something like you Americans are crazy, how can you reward an old man for still following Jesus? All he wants to do is go to heaven and make it. You don’t have to reward him in the world. Instead of rewarding an old man who still follows Christ, you should punish all the rich people in your church who spend all their money on the bigger boat, and bigger this, that and the other. That should be the system, but don’t reward a man who is near eternity because he still follows Jesus, it is the calling of all of us. What’s your problem? Well, frankly, they’ve never invited me back.
Read more here.
And after you have read, spend some time in prayer that God would raise up from our children more hearts like Brother Andrew’s that beat for the passion of our mighty King and His Kingdom.