No Gimmicks Here…

          When I see members of the body of Christ falter in a very radical way, I am saddened, and today, for that reason, my heart is troubled. No, humans are not perfect, and everyone is prone to mistakes, but when members of the church blaspheme the power of the Lord, I can’t help but to shake my head in disbelief and wonder why they are not listening to the spirit convict their hearts for verbally diminishing the power of the Lord and “gimmick-izing” His house.

          Here are just a few quick thoughts about successful ministries and some thoughts I feel I need to post on this blog.

          1. The drawing factor for the unsaved and unchurched to a church is not the lights, media, or presentation of the service, it is the Spirit’s tug on their hearts and the power of His radical message. A Huge pitfall for modern day churches is that we have to impress in order to succeed, but in reality, if these people are at our churches then the Spirit has already done the impressing, but instead of impressing their senses, He impresses their hearts.

          2. Jesus went out to the people to reach them. He went to the docks to speak to the fishermen, to the hills to speak to the shepherds, and to the cities to talk to the common citizens. He did not draw people to a sanctuary or to a building, rather He drew them to Himself with His powerful message and His powerful miracles. Jesus did not use gimmicks, for He was the creator God incarnate, made flesh to bring grace and salvation to anyone that chooses to believe.

          3. The purpose of church is not to reach the lost, or to fill the spiritual gas tank of the Christian members, the purpose is to bring glory to God and to worship Him. We have 7 days in a week and the Sabbath belongs to God. If we treat church in this way, people will naturally be drawn to worship with us.

          I urge all of you to NEVER diminish the power or authority of what Christ did for us, and to uplift the brotherhood by showing a radical love, and by keeping it accountable. We have a responsibility to everyone we meet, to the saved and unsaved alike. We were bought with a price, so let’s remember that!

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~ by Tim Kurek on October 4, 2007.

18 Responses to “No Gimmicks Here…”

  1. Very true. If we live a life that is so radical people can’t help but want it. They will want a life that seems so out of place that they can’t help but ask. That is what we should live.

    http://struggleswithfaith.wordpress.com

  2. Tim,
    We will use anything we can, while NOT compromising the Word of God, to bring people INTO church to hear God’s Word.
    NO, Jesus didn’t “use” gimmicks…but the pharisees of the day “called” them gimmicks. This is the same thing happening today. A church a few years ago who used beautiful stained glass to adorn the church, and each window telling a story…is no different than a contemporary church of today using a big screen with videos and graphics to tell the story of Jesus Christ in a modern way! But critics call that gimmickry.
    Jesus passing out fish ‘n chips to the 5,000+ all from one kid’s happy meal was called by his critics, “gimmicks”. Our giving away door prizes are called by our critics, “gimmicks” as well. But, just as Jesus used his “gimmick” to draw people to hear more about Him, we do the same to help them get in the door to hear about Him as well.
    Don’t be so quick to cast judgment on today’s modern churches for not wanting to be stuck in a traditional mold. YES, the traditional churches CAN reach many…but not all. God has given different visions to many men, all with the same core message: Jesus died for your sins and is the ONLY way to God….and those who die without a relationship with Him are condemned to an eternity in hell.
    Some may prefer to worship in a stain-glassed building and sing hymns with a piano and organ, while the preacher speaks the Word…and others may prefer to “rock the house” in praise to Almighty God, while the preacher speaks the SAME Word! Praise God that He has given us the vision to see that today’s culture is about “choice”. If it weren’t, we’d still have only the same three or four channels to watch on TV!! Think about it.
    Joe Case
    Sr. Pastor
    UpRising Church
    Nashville, TN
    http://www.joecase.com

  3. Joe, I appreciate your thoughts! Thanks for checking and responding to my blog. I appreciated our conversation tonight and I look forward to continuing our friendship when I get back to Nashville. And yes, thank God for that choice…

    tim

  4. God is God — cannot be more cannot be less.

    (James 1:17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

    The Greek word used is ‘parallage’̄ which means transmutation or change.

    mutation

    mu·ta·tion [myoo táysh’n]

    (plural mu·ta·tions)

    noun

    1. change in genetic material: a random change in a gene or chromosome resulting in a new trait or characteristic that can be inherited. Mutation can be a source of beneficial genetic variation, or it can be neutral or harmful in effect.

    2. biology Same as mutantn (sense 1)

    3. alteration: the action or process of changing something or of being changed

    4. linguistics Same as umlautn (sense 1)

    5. phonetics phonetic change: a phonetic change found in Celtic languages in which the initial consonant of a word changes according to the preceding word

    -mu·ta·tion·al, adjective

    -mu·ta·tion·al·ly, adverb

    Scientifically crystal is the perfect or last state of some materials. The perfect or the last state of sand is glass. The perfect or the last state of carbon is diamond. God is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the end, the First and the Last.

    (REVELATION 1:8) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

    Of course, this does not mean that God is a letter or letters. The term used is for people to know that God is the Beginning of everything that exist. He is the first because He is the originator of everything. He is the end and the last because everything will finally be subjected to Him.

    (I CORINTHIANS 15:24-27) Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

    The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

    He is a perfect being and cannot be perfected.

    (MATTHEW 5:48) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    He did not attain perfection as the Mormons claimed.

    God has always been Himself and will always be himself in His perfect state of being.

    (EXODUS 3:14) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

    It follows therefore biblically speaking that there are so many things impossible to happen with God. It is impossible for Him to lie because He is in the perfect state of truth – the absolute truth.

    (TITUS 1:2) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began…

    (HEBREWS 6:18) That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

    It is impossible for Him to change because perfection is the last reasonable state of change. It is impossible for Him to deny himself because He is the absolute state of existence.

    (II TIMOTHY 2:13) If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    (I TIMOTHY 6:16) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.

    There are realities which up to now are unfathomable by the wisdom of men. Even the greatest of human intellect cannot fully comprehend the diverse mysteries of a whole universe of everything that exist. Such awesome wonders bespeaks of God’s eternal power and Godhead.

    (THE ROMANS 1:19-20) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    If the things created cannot fully be understood it is but wise to conclude that the Creator cannot be fully known by His creation including men nor even angels.

    (THE ACTS 17:24) God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands…

    (JOB 4:18) Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly…

    (ISAIAH 42:8) I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

    It is idiotic to attribute to God anything that is a product of human comprehension and understanding.

    (THE ROMANS 11:34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?

    In fact, the Bible admonishes us not to think of anything more than we ought to think, especially about the being of God.

    (THE ROMANS 12:3) For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

    To think and to conclude that God can do everything constitutes an insult and blasphemy unto the unfathomable majesty of the Most High. As it is unwise to put limits to Him, it is equally unwise to put elasticity to the limits set by God for Himself. We know that He cannot lie because He revealed it through His written words in the Bible. He cannot change himself; He cannot deny himself and so on. To say and make others believe that God can do anything or everything will be an insult and blasphemy against God. Will it be possible for Him to connive with satan?

    (II CORINTHIANS 6:14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

    Is it possible for him to be an author of confusion? I Corinthians 14:33…..

    (I CORINTHIANS 14:33) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    Is it possible for Him to commit injustice? Is it possible for Him to forsake the widows and the orphans?

    (PSALMS 68:4) Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

    (PSALMS 68:5) A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

    Is it possible for Him to forget or neglect his children?

    (ISAIAH 49:15) Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

    Is it possible for Him to betray the trust of His children?

    (I CORINTHIANS 1:9) God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

    The verses cited after each question prove that there are many things which are impossible to God. I pray for your enlightenment.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    EFS

  5. […] Also, Tim from over on Uriah Ministries has posted a good reminder for the Church today. His heart felt messages are always a blessing: No Gimmicks Here, […]

  6. great post. i’m currently working with a ministry and trying to get everyone to understand your 2nd point. our default seems to be creating some event and hoping that people come to listen to us talk, however, i’m trying to push for the group to go to where people are.

  7. James 1:
    5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

    6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

    7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;

    8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

    Revelations 3:15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

  8. Your point???

  9. Well, I hope God bless you with the grace to understand those verses that I mentioned.

  10. Mark 4:12 (NIV)

    so that,
    ” ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
    and ever hearing but never understanding;
    otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ ”

    Proverbs 21:16 A man who strays from the path of understanding
    comes to rest in the company of the dead.

    I pray to God that your understanding be opened too so that you’ll be forgiven too, as what we experienced.

  11. “I pray to God that your understanding be opened too so that you’ll be forgiven too, as what we experienced.”

    What do you mean by this?

    The Lord calls us to humility and love just as much to judgement of sin and hatred for that sin. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin. Please understand that the gospel preaches a very balanced message.

  12. I can’t help thinking that there is no Christian church today that would be acceptable to anyone in the early proto-orthodox movement, which is where Christianity of today came from. I’ve seen a rather large liberalization just in my own lifetime with regard to what is and is not acceptable in church. It makes me wonder who is correct, the early Christians or the new self serving Christians, with huge houses and too many cars, who only seem interested in religion on sunday (not even the sabbath) mornings.
    When I was a Christian, I played drums at my church, while the women shook their booties on stage with microphones. Cant say I objected too much either, but what a confusing scenario it was indeed. Little by little people justify what they can to make up for their lazyness in actually following what their holy book says. It makes me wonder, why bother?

  13. DaVinci,

    Thanks for the comment! I understand and sympathize with your thoughts… No we can not judge others’ hearts but we can do our best to honor the Lord with our own lives…

    tim

  14. Galatians 6:6Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

  15. Pastor Joe,

    I do not know you or much about your ministry but I want to say that I am deeply concerned by your response.

    You see Jesus Christ did not use “Gimmicks” He performed Miracles. The Miracles of Christ were not to “Attract People” to hear a Gospel Message, they were to prove his divinity and show he was more then a prophet.

    I say this in humility and grace, but please understand that there is a serious problem with you attracting people to church with elaborate media and technology. (Which by the way I am a huge supporter of, as I work in TV, I understand it’s impact and it does have a place in church) However media should be used to uplift the savior, not entertain the masses or give glory to the Building.

    Church or “The Church” in an organic state is not a building, it is the Body of “believers”, so in essence you are placing your focus on creating a worship service for the Lost. How does this work when 1st Corinthians states the unsaved cannot understand the message of the Cross?

    Church is for Worship, Worship is for the Saved, and the Saved need to fellowship with like believers and study scripture so they can in return go out into the world and bring more saved people to worship in as members of the body.

    Now let me get personal.

    This week I had a 17 year old friend who is about to graduate, contact me asking me for advice. Her church was much like yours, they focused a great deal on making church “Entertaining”

    She was Starving for spiritual food, the church left her behind in her walk to focuses on numbers.

    What a strong impact she has made on me, to know that church is not about gimmicks, or numbers or lights and sound. It’s about uplifting the savior and as a pastor you are required to Shepard your flock. A teenager made this incredibly clear to me, do not let your sheep starve…

    Please read my article I wrote for a local church newspaper. It is on Page 4 of the following link.

    It talks about Numbers and the Church.

    http://thechurchguide.com/issues/October2007.pdf

  16. Sins that we commit if we are in the side of Christ are being blotted out by God (Romans 4:7-8; 1 John 2:1-2). The term the Bible uses is ‘justified’ through faith in Jesus (Acts 13:39). Maybe you will ask me who are those that are in Jesus’ side. Ans: Those that are in the Church of God (1Corinthians 1:2; Acts 20:28). That Church is qualified to enter heaven because it is the entity that was cleansed by God’s process and by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 5:26-27)

    EFS

  17. EFS,

    Thank you for commenting, but what is your point? Throwing out numerous scripture references is not as effective if you don’t explain why you are using them. Thanks for commenting though.

    Marcus,

    Good thoughts. Thanks for commenting on this blog!

  18. I know an EFS, but I do not think, he’s the one commenting here. Maybe, EFS’s quotes were used by another blogger or critique.

    But would unbiblical gimmicks are good?

    1 Timothy 6:

    20Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,

    21which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.

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