The landscape and condition of churches and seminaries across Canada — and globally — are being over-run by increasingly large pressures of secularization, platform building, self-promotion, trendy Christianity and psychology, and the global leadership summit is just one small portrait, amongst many other portraits, giving us alarming insights into where God’s church is going and representing the decline in discipleship.
What is the Global Leadership Summit?
The global leadership summit is a secular-based summit delivered mainly by world class faculty that hold mainly to a secular perspective, psychology-based perspective and a weak theologically and doctrinally-grounded perspective. To prove this, all you have to do is go to their website and see that the majority of their teachers aren’t even, Pastors –most are businessmen with no theological credentials.
It’s clear theological and doctrinal teaching is not the primary goal of the summit and it is a stretch to even classify it as a “Christian” summit used for the uplifting, discernment, discipleship, and counter-cultural call of building-up of God’s church –that’s because it’s main goal is to improve influence, leadership and business. It’s goal is to help people, secular or not, run a better organization while improving effectiveness in helping transform personal organizational reach, vision and community. Yet, many Christians are flocking towards it, and others are using it as a model to run the church, without realizing the dangers and how it’s attacking God’s flock.
Protecting The Flock From Being Led Astray:
With the above organizational mission in mind, I am in no way attacking the summit itself, rather, since the goal of this blog from the start was to focus on revitalizing discipleship, I am using it as snapshot portrait giving us an all-too-common alarming picture of where the modern evangelical church is headed, as it steers further and further away from Christ-centered discipleship.
As far as I am concerned, the summit is in fact serving it’s intended purpose: it’s training up global secular leaders and helping them lead better. What it is isn’t doing is: effectively discipling and teaching the church how it should be run. However, even though, that is not what the intended goal of the summit is, many seminaries and churches are using it for just that. They are using it for a distorted model of how the church should be run and that is where my concern lies.
As someone whose heart is ever-more increasingly becoming committed to protecting God’s flock and my call and conviction is increasing to help guide Christians to pursue Christ to their utmost highest ability, it’s alarming to see tons of churches and Christians, today, jumping on board and gathering to support this mainly secular conference — and other conferences — a like, inside the church and outside of the church, instead of hungering and desiring to pursue theological training, discipleship and a Biblical world view on approaching the world and business.
It’s one thing to watch this on one’s own time and in one’s own house, but when the church, in many other cases is dropping the ball on discipleship and is supporting these types of summits, and when Bible Schools are pushing it, advertising it and streaming it live in their building, it’s becoming a church organizational problem and incredibly alarming that God’s children are more interested in gathering around to hear mainly secular advice to run their church and improve their influence. Such desires, flirt dangerously with crossing important Biblical and traditional Christian lines –lines that are detrimental to the health of God’s church and to the health and vitality of discipleship and a Christian’s spiritual walk.
The Church Influences Culture, Not The Other Way Around:
When culture has a problem or is aching and crying out for answers or hope, the churches goal and first response should be to demonstrate the love of a fathering community of hope. The church; therefore, should be an otherworldly community with important life-giving Biblical answers who wraps its arms around the hurt and the lost while pointing them to God’s Word –the only Word that is filled with everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
It’s dangerous for a Christian church to invite secular thinking, and psychology into the secular-free walls of the church, openly and intentionally, and it’s both disrespectful and disheartening to watch God’s children, who should be committed to things above (Colossians 3:2) streaming secular education that is not committed to the discernment and Biblical uplifting of God’s church. It’s even more disheartening to see this being done publicly, broadcasting to the world what the church supports, by displaying it from right behind God’s pulpit and from a pulpit whose goal is to preach and communicate Jesus Christ crucified and God’s Biblical truth to it’s flock and a hurting and lost secular world.
This is because, the goal of the Christian church is to build up the Christian congregation in godliness, to influence culture with Biblically-discerned principles and to transcend cultural barriers with strong Biblical truth. It’s our job, our call, conviction and our responsibility, as a Christ-centered church, to guide culture and point them to the living and breathing Word of God –the only living and breathing word of God that free’s helpless and hopeless sinners from their condemnation and sets their eyes above.
Christians Should Strive To Do Business Different:
Considering things above, Christians should strive to do business different. Is the goal of Christian business to simply increase their earthly personal influence or their capital or is it to increase Christ’s otherworldly influence and promote His glory? In the same way, is the goal of business to increase personal numbers and to increase how much one makes or is the Christian businessman’s goal to be a light, to steward his gifts, his money, his time and his talent to advance the gospel and be an otherworldly beacon of hope that shines brightly in culture showing the world that Christians strive to do business different?
Even if the summit — and other summits a like, which are gaining popularity — are used only by Christians simply striving for business knowledge or business advancement, we should always be filtering our thinking in how we run a company through a Biblically-discerned and Biblically-sound Christian lens. Yet the fact that so many Christians are more interested in gathering around to participate in such secular-focused events shows a dismal picture of where popular Christianity is heading.
If we want to improve our business and our thinking in business or learn how to improve employee engagement or how to take our company to the next level, we should first be committed to increasing our desire to seek first God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6:33), look to Christ for Biblically-discerned answers and strive to follow His example. This means, the church should be the one leading the Biblical conversation on business and leadership helping God’s people navigate a secular context with a Biblical world view and lens that teaches Christians to be a light that stands out in a dark business world.
A Culture obsessed with Influence and Self-promotion:
In regards to the state of our culture, and the dismal picture projected while assessing the content of these summits, I have long experienced the difficult push-and-pull of our modern culture and it’s generational sickness and earthly advancement towards becoming more and more hyper-focused on increasing influence, self-promotion, building a platform, getting noticed and getting ahead.
I too, have felt the weight and pull and spent many hours in prayer for this generations ever-increasing steps towards secularization and individualism competing around every corner trying to pull me — and the world — away from being in awe of Christ, and I too, have experienced and been equally as tempted by self-promotion, increasing my platform, increasing my influence, and the ever-increasing trend of secularization.
However, I have resolved: if my platform and influence ever becomes more about increasing influence or increasing my platform and losing Christ, taking my eyes off the things above or not seeking first the Kingdom or leading God’s sheep astray and becoming more focused on myself, in the process, I pray God strikes me down and/or takes my platform away.
I pray for the day that the modern evangelical church shares this conviction and is more interested to hunger and thirst to gather in God’s presence to hear strong exegetical and theologically-rooted teaching from the pulpit –teaching that dives deep into unlocking and understanding the irreplaceable power of God’s Word, instead of chasing the ever-increasing trend of secular thinking infiltrating the church today.
Bringing it Together:
One thing I know about my generation, is that we desire revival and a fresh influx of God’s presence sweeping across the nation. I have seen it amongst my peers: we want to see churches brought together, nations restored, communities transformed and lives changed, and I believe our desire for all the above, is authentic. I believe it’s sincere, yet, revival will not come no matter how authentic we are, and it won’t come if we pursue the wrong focus.
It won’t come, until we surrender it all to Christ and recognize the secularization creeping within. It will not come until we resolve to seek the things above, protect our churches, protect our flock, seek Biblically-discerned truth and pursue Christ and His Word, unapologetically.
When the increasing secularization of such trends and summits are recognized, and their lack of focus on discipleship, only then can we make Christ-centered steps to revitalize discipleship and the church today, and when we make steps towards discipleship revitalization, that’s when churches will turn around, denominations will be brought together, nations will be brought down to their knee’s in prayer and lives and communities will be transformed by the power of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let us be aware of the ever-increasing temptation and ever-increasing secular trends infiltrating the church and today’s pulpit painting a dismal and alarming picture of where the church is heading and where we need to go. As it stands, much work is needed to be done still. Let us pray God opens our eyes to become aware of the increasing secularization creeping in around every corner.