Jump directly to the Content

The Cambridge Diet for Fat Churches

I live with a church that has a weight problem. The weekly spread of tasty music, erudite education, scrumptious social life, and gourmet preaching seems to produce ever more poundage on our padded pews.

In fact, the fare can get so rich that sometimes I think only the dessert of the eschaton would be enough to make the saints salivate.

The bulges under the garment of success began to show after only ten years of corporate life. By 1974 we had to admit that our increasing size was bittersweet. The frequent accomplishments—new buildings, staff additions—were often interrupted by a belch of discomfort as we sensed something amiss.

I was a member of the church at that time, serving as campus pastor at the denomination's nearby liberal-arts college. The pastoral leadership began to suggest one way to spell relief: m-i-s-s-i-o-n. But what would that solve? The mission budget was as obese as the rest of the church. Articulate guests came to the pulpit of Evangel Temple on a regular ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

What to Do When Ministry Jobs Are Scarce
What to Do When Ministry Jobs Are Scarce
3 ways to protect yourself from unexpected unemployment.
From the Magazine
The Unearthed Conscience of Black Fundamentalism
The Unearthed Conscience of Black Fundamentalism
A hard racial line divided conservative white and Black Protestants 100 years ago. It didn’t have to be that way.
Editor's Pick
Visitation Is Still Our Vocation
Visitation Is Still Our Vocation
We may face new challenges, but the heart of our calling remains the same.