Out of Context: Miles Finch

"When our goal of worship is to receive God's help to be successful, pride is taking over. Then we are just using God to further ourselves. Could it be that we want church-growth secrets, or even God's Spirit...for the wrong reasons? Have we slipped into a proud and competitive mode? Is this part of the reason why the American church seems so crippled right now?"

-Miles Finch recently retired as pastor of New Life Christian Center in Polson, Montana. Taken from "Surprised by Pride" in the Spring 2007 issue of Leadership journal. To see the quote IN context, you'll need to see the print version of Leadership. To subscribe, click on the cover of Leadership on this page.

April 06, 2007

Displaying 1–10 of 10 comments

Gallagher

April 12, 2007  8:30pm

Have we stripped worship from the original concept of "bowing down to kiss the hand of an Almighty God" to our personal hand being kissed by the people around us as we seek to create a worship that interests us?

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curtis

April 11, 2007  11:27am

Ben said: –––––––- The "you're a sinner and you better get Jesus in your life AND begin to grow deeper with him" kind of truth. –––––––– Ben, your comment here is exactly part of the point that Sam was trying to make when he said this: "but that theology is bankrupt in God's world, in which 2/3's of people, created in God's image, go with bad water and no food." Myself, and it sounds like Sam, are people that believe that the Gospel of Jesus has more to say than what you stated above... it has to do with the restoration, healing, and rebuilding of all of Creation... getting things back to the way they were always meant to be. So, even though to you it doesn't seem like there's "cosmic genie" preaching going on, because they're talking about Hell, etc.... in my mind, it's still a very narrow view of the Gospel, and it's not something that will be helping church-goers join God's mission to end the suffering of "the least of these"... Does that make sense?

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sam

April 09, 2007  4:49pm

The "big boys" have been jamming all their curriculums and campaigns down the throats of the "smaller churches". Mega churches are what could lead one to beleive the church is an "industry."

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Ben

April 08, 2007  1:56pm

So many commentators are so quick to jump on megachurches and the like as wishy washy Christian Lite organizations. I've been a part of several large churches and listened to a lot of preaching from other LARGE churches and I'm not hearing only light "cosmic genie" kind of stuff. I'm hearing truth. I'm hearing the hard truth. The "you're a sinner and you better get Jesus in your life AND begin to grow deeper with him" kind of truth. There's definitely those types out there, but it seems like such an easy target for people to take shots at, but is every large church really missing it? I don't think so. I begin to wonder are leaders in small churches just trying to make themselves feel better about their smallness by taking potshots at the big boys? It's obvious throughout the history of the church that God uses many different forms of Church to bring unbelievers to Him and see Christ-followers discipled and released. I was reading an article in a local magazine yesterday about an African American pastor in my community that is doing amazing things. As I read the story I realized he does things differently than I would, but you know he's effective, lives are changing. I was really struck about how God works in so many different ways to affect the Church and mankind. Are Miles' words a warning to be heeded? Absolutely. Do they have to create an opportunity to reignite the "megachurches suck" mantra. No way. Let's acknowledge the many different facets of the Church as God intends and reach those people in our world to make disciples. The whining and complaining is pointless and wasteful. A house divided...

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Carl

April 07, 2007  7:41pm

To be successful is a desire within every human heart. The important question is "what is success?". Sometimes that includes matters of the heart, sometimes material prosperity. God is wise and knows what is best for us. Why does He bless others with finances and others not? That is a question I find myself wrestling with a lot.

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Kriston Couchey

April 07, 2007  1:52pm

Miles Wrote: "When our goal of worship is to receive God's help to be successful, pride is taking over." Pride is taking over? No! Pride is the wicked sin instigating and motivating this behavior. http://my.opera.com/Boanerges/blog/

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sam

April 06, 2007  10:45pm

the church is not an "industry".

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Sheerahkahn

April 06, 2007  1:12pm

"Is this part of the reason why the American church seems so crippled right now?" I think the list of reasons is long enough to fill a couple of books. However, what is encouraging is pastors willing to reflect on these issues...now, if we could just get the laity in on it as well we'll have something akin to a revival.

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Jay Kelly

April 06, 2007  9:16am

Great thoughts. Great to see a pastor saying this. As a former pastor with a lot of the same thoughts, I realize those outside the industry don't have nearly as much credibility when we say things like this; so it's very encouraging when a pastor is courageous enough to speak out.

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Sam

April 06, 2007  2:30am

yes! yes! yes! we just need eyes to see and ears to hear because in general our mass-mega-event/associations/we call them churches but they are corporations are actually keeping Christians from following the way of Jesus in community. so much popular preaching (except rob bell) assumes God to be some cosmic genie in the sky or a slot machine waiting to give us more, more, more. but that theology is bankrupt in God's world, in which 2/3's of people, created in God's image, go with bad water and no food. so much of the leadership/growth stuff is not hearing how the gospel of Jesus Christ subverts conventional wisdom.

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