Evangelical Churches- Customer Satisfaction, Growth Oriented!!! Holy Spirit at Work??


#1

I notice that a lot of Evangelical churches and ministries have a business like approach. They institute a lot of different programs to attract people, hire youth ministers, acquire state of the art equipment to use for their services, They seem like spiritual capitalists. Then, they tout their growth at a sign of the “Holy Spirit at work”

I wonder how they view the growth of the Mormans or other groups outside of the pale? Would their growth be the sign of the Holy Spirit, or do they attribute it to the work of Satan?


#2

[quote=WhiteDove]I notice that a lot of Evangelical churches and ministries have a business like approach. They institute a lot of different programs to attract people, hire youth ministers, acquire state of the art equipment to use for their services, They seem like spiritual capitalists. Then, they tout their growth at a sign of the “Holy Spirit as work”

I wonder how they view the growth of the Mormans or other groups outside of the pale? Would their growth be the sign of the Holy Spirit, or do they attribute it to the work of Satan?
[/quote]

Mormon growth would always be attributed to evil forces. Since it is a false religion, they have a point there. I think your general observation is a good one, though… Evangelical churches, by and large, seem to have taken the mystery and reverence out of the church at every step. This pursuit and emphasis on the increase in members also seems to fall in line with the misguided “health and wealth gospel”, if one examines it closely enough. For example, membership is increasing, so we must be doing something right. I would venture that, if the church is doing something right, it should be less centered on promotional activities than preaching the Word and creating unity among the Christian Community.


#3

[quote=Writer] For example, membership is increasing, so we must be doing something right.
[/quote]

They basically think that truth is basically whatever people vote in numbers say it is. :slight_smile:


#4

I believe the theory is a person must be there to hear the word. It doesn’t matter how the person got there (bowling, skiing etc), but it is valuable if they go. Don’t catholics take a similar view of youth group? It doesn’t help if you only teach the truth if no one comes to hear it.


#5

[quote=WhiteDove]I notice that a lot of Evangelical churches and ministries have a business like approach. They institute a lot of different programs to attract people, hire youth ministers, acquire state of the art equipment to use for their services, They seem like spiritual capitalists. Then, they tout their growth at a sign of the “Holy Spirit at work”
[/quote]

And they often don’t mention abortion from the pulpit.

Popular theology doesn’t become correct because it is popular.


#6

I’m not sure exactly what your point is. I guess it is that you can’t be sure that an individual Church’s growth is a result of the ‘Holy Spirit at work’ .

But I don’t think you can say it isn’t the work of the Holy Spirit either. (And I do think that the Holy Spirit works in Evangelical Churches. Otherwise how would so many Evangelicals have eventually found the Catholic Church? ) Growth is a possible evidence but it is not sufficient evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit.

And I also think that it is worthwhile for the Catholic Church (probably at the diocesen level) to look at the methods of any ‘successful’ non-Catholic group to see if for some period of time they could be used to meet some of the needs of the people in the diocese.


#7

I know a priest that reads Baptist pastoral literature. He has said the Catholic Church is weak at “making baby Christians.” He says too many Catholics don’t really understand what they believe or know the Bible. He acknowledges that Baptist are very strong in these areas. He says he’s learned some new way to approach things, such as stewardship, that the Catholic Church has traditionally not been very good at. Of course he’s not adopting any of their doctrines or anything like that; however, If someone is doing something that is working, try to find out what they’re doing right. Leaving the Baptist church earlier this year was a difficult thing for me to do, because they always had activities for single adults. I’ve had a lot of problems finding that in the Catholic Church, and like someone said earlier, they fact that people are there is not as important as how the got there. Don’t get me wrong. I do believe the Baptist worship services frequently become entertainment rather than worship. I’m just using Baptist as an example of Evangelicals, because that what I was for the first 33 years of my life.


#8

[quote=Steve M]I know a priest that reads Baptist pastoral literature. He has said the Catholic Church is weak at “making baby Christians.” He says too many Catholics don’t really understand what they believe or know the Bible. He acknowledges that Baptist are very strong in these areas…
If someone is doing something that is working, try to find out what they’re doing right. .
[/quote]

Very important points, I think, Steve.

In general, I know too many devout, prayerful, and spiritually minded non-Catholics to ever doubt that the Holy Spirit was at work in most of their churches (maybe not in the churches described at the beginning of the thread!)

I’m a totally dedicated Catholic, but the thing that really worries me (well, I can only speak for my part of the world) is that not enough is done to evangelise and catechise adult Catholics.
There just isn’t enough time in a shortish sermon (which is generally tied to the scripture readings) and I don’t know of any parish that has study groups other than for scripture.
Because of the knowledge and enrichment I’ve got from “Catholic Answers”, I’ve written this week to my parish priest (not in a complaining way, but to convey enthusiasm) to recommend this website to anyone who might want to study their faith, and I’m hoping he’ll put a bit of my letter in the parish newsletter.
We can’t afford to be complacent about the “leakage” (due to a basic ignorance of what the Catholic Church is, and has) from the Catholic church to other churches that do certain things better than we do. :frowning:


A Te numquam separari permittas - never let me be separated from You


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