Conclusion to the Commentary
It may appear to the reader that the writer has been quite negative and critical toward the so-called “church growth movement,” and to megachurches and their leaders. That is because the writer is more concerned about making disciples than growing churches. Blessed be the church that can do both! Unfortunately, that seems like a hard thing to come by. The good news is that ninety percent of all churches (I am told) have less than 100 members. That is good news because 100 or less is a very workable number to make true disciples who have a fervent prayer life, who are well discipled in God’s word, who have been effectively counseled on how to love one another, and who truly live by the command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Imagine the staffing and training that would be required to make true disciples of a church with more than two thousand members? That is why this writer is skeptical that a megachurch can make true disciples. The megachurch can have amazing music, state-of-the-art multimedia, a well-paid charismatic celebrity-style pastor, a fantastic venue, but be filled with true disciples of Jesus Christ who are willing to suffer and sacrifice for Jesus Christ? That is a much more daunting task. Perhaps the rationale behind the justification for the megachurch is the belief that saying the “sinner’s prayer” is the equivalent of making a disciple, that having a crowd is the same as having true followers of Jesus, and that meeting in an expensive venue is a sign of God’s blessings. It is a terrible deception that leading a person to Christ is on the same level as making a disciple, much less making a disciple who in turn makes other disciples.
Therefore, the writer wishes to end the commentary with these words of encouragement:
Blessed is the pastor who is more concerned about making disciples than drawing a crowd.
Blessed is the church pastor who prays often, who prays with fervor, passion, and great perseverance, and teaches his disciples to do the same.
Blessed is the pastor who explains God’s word, and makes disciples who can explain God’s word to others.
And blessed is the pastor who seeks to be filled with the Spirit, earnestly desires to be sanctified, who has a hunger for God and for His word, who has a burden for the lost, a compassion for the poor, a genuine love for the flock, and a concern for the persecuted.
Pray that God will preserve His remnant.