How to attract goats to your church

Is church about saints (those who are saved), or sinners goats? Look, we’re all sinners; we need to use our words correctly.  Those who have repented and put their trust in Christ alone for their salvation are saints. Another great word we can use here is sheep. The opposite term in the Bible is goats.  The real question is, what – and Whom- is church about, and whom is it for?

Let’s not “kid” ourselves; it’s not for goats. It’s for former goats.  The Bible teaches us that church is the gathering of those who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit:

…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.         Ephesians 4:12-16

When we make church about gathering goats for social programs and teaching on life tips and morals, we’ve missed the point and harmed the true Church. Here is yet another example of putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable: 

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.31.58 AMPreston Trails Community Church in Frisco, Texas, recently won a design award for its building and its brand: Making goats feel accepted.

“There are no ‘iconic’ church design elements that would let the average passerby identify this building as a church, rather it was important to church leadership to design a building that was welcoming and non-threatening to the un-churched.”

Preston Trail Community Church; Frisco, TX

Preston Trail Community Church; Frisco, TX

Instead of equipping the sheep to share the light of Christ and call the unsaved to repentance, churches like these cut out the middle-man – the saints – and instead round up the herd, entertain them in a pretty building and plug them into pretty programs. All while making it about them, and how they can feel good about themselves.

Colored carpet pathways, bold campus signage—both inside and out, a newcomer-oriented website and an abundance of glass walls, are just a few of the ways Preston Trails Community Church is helping people—not familiar with churches, feel expected and accepted.

 

Houston, we have a problem.

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12 Responses to How to attract goats to your church

  1. Landon Chapman June 10, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    As an architect myself, I can say that this building is beautiful… but it’s not a church.

  2. Ron McKeever June 10, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    What we are witnessing is the efforts to draw together, the left-behind goats who will not go to meet Christ in the Rapture. You are witnessing the silence of Biblical churches; efforts to draw all religions into a single unit and all with the clique…’reach them for Christ.’ It is happening all over professing Christendom. And the blind are following this false leadership. Where is the Holy Spirit in all this? Sad,,,,sad…

  3. Shannon June 10, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    I have a family member who attends this church. The building is the least of its problems. The Sunday morning service is more like a TED talk if you ask me. It’s very watered down-no sin, just “love”. It’s sad but this person no longer has any association with me & my husband because we are “hateful” and “judgmental”, be we talk about sin & the need for repentance. Pray for these people.

    • lyn June 10, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

      Shannon,

      The ‘god’ most professing Christians worship is an unknown god. It’s a god fabricated by their own earthly understanding, a god that only loves and forgives. However, the God of the Bible is holy, holy, holy and will not let sin go unpunished. That truth doesn’t fill pews or collection plates, so that main attribute is seldom spoken of. You cannot build fine looking churches if you preach God’s truth as it is written. Another problem is that most who occupy the pulpits in this nation are NOT called by God to do so; they do NOT tremble at His word. There is no reverence or holy fear of God because most do not know the God of the bible.
      Churches have become meeting places to gather, socialize and please the flesh. Most have no idea what true, biblical worship is, nor do they understand churches like the one in this post are a stench in the nostrils of such a holy and mighty God.

      Those who are unregenerate love to hurl out the ‘judgmental’ and ‘hateful’ accusations because they are void of true biblical understanding. You speak truth, they hate truth. Praise the Lord that you and your husband stand firm on His truth, you both are blessed!

  4. Richard June 10, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    A comment and then a question.

    I think the building featured above is beautiful … as a suburban mall.

    Not being a rancher, nor an evolutionist, do goats ever turn into sheep, or are sheep always sheep (just lost or found) and goats always goats?

    What a mess we’ve created, catering to the unsaved to the neglect of the great Shepherd and His sheep.

    • BJ July 10, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

      Yeah, they probably eat and drink with sinners too. I mean, how low can they go!

  5. Stephen June 11, 2015 at 2:43 am #

    The building, boy, what a monstrosity . . . ugly as sin.

  6. TJ July 10, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

    I find it convenient that you left out that the core value statement that is front and center in everything Preston Trail Community Church says and does is “To help people find and follow Jesus Christ.”

    And now, I hope y’all will enjoy the thrilling conclusion to Flannery O’Connors’s “Revelation”, for purposes I hope will be clear upon reading.

    Then like a monumental statue coming to life, she bent her head slowly and gazed, as if through the very heart of mystery, down into the pig parlor at the hogs. They had settled all in one corner around the old sow who was grunting softly. A red glow suffused them. They appeared to pant with a secret life.

    Until the sun slipped finally behind the tree line, Mrs. Turpin remained there with her gaze bent to them as if she were absorbing some abysmal life-giving knowledge. At last she lifted her head. There was only a purple streak in the sky, cutting through a field of crimson and leading, like an extension of the highway, into the descending dusk. She raised her hands from the side of the pen in a gesture hieratic and profound. A visionary light settled in her eyes. She saw the streak as a vast swinging bridge extending upward from the earth through a field of living fire. Upon it a vast horde of souls were tumbling toward heaven. There were whole companies of white trash, clean for the first time in their lives…and battalions of freaks and lunatics shouting and clapping and leaping like frogs. And bringing up the end of the procession was a tribe of people whom she recognized at once as those who, like herself and Claude, had always had a little of everything and the God-given wit to use it right. She leaned forward to observe them closer. They were marching behind the others with great dignity, accountable as they had always been for good order and common sense and respectable behavior. They, alone were on key. Yet she could see by their shocked and altered faces even their virtues were being burned away.

    She lowered her hands and gripped the rail of the hog pen, her eyes small but fixed unblinkingly on what lay ahead. In a moment the vision faded but she remained where she was, immobile. At length she got down and turned off the faucet and made her slow way on the darkening path to the house. In the woods around her the invisible cricket choruses had struck up, but what she heard were the voices of the souls climbing upward into the starry field and shouting hallelujah.

    • BJ July 10, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

      Catholic so doesn’t count!

      • TJ July 10, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

        Hahaha! That may be the funniest retort you’ll find on this whole site. Well done.

  7. TJ July 10, 2015 at 4:40 pm #

    I’m new to this site. In my reading so far, I’m confused as to the actual purpose of any of this. It appears the aim is to strip away anything at all that is not Scriptural about Christianity, which makes me quite afraid for our saintly predecessors of the pre-Nicean church who did not have access to the full text we are so blessed with today. Are these followers of Christ consigned to hell as they lived without the benefit of all the Council approved Scriptures?

    Please advise.

    • BJ July 13, 2015 at 11:45 am #

      What part of Catholic so it doesn’t count was so hard to understand?

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