Skip: Are you the Apostle Paul?
Paul: Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.
Skip: Hello, there!
Paul: Grace and peace to you!
Skip: I’m Skip Mattison, the founder and lead pastor of MegaLife Church, a church of 30,000
people in the beautiful outer west suburbs of a big city like Rome. I’m from the future.
Paul: Welcome, brother in Christ and fellow called apostle! It is wonderful news that you have the opportunity to preach Christ crucified to 30,000 people!
Skip: Well, I have other good news, too! There are many more Christians in the world, and, in my country, we have the legal right to gather in public to worship!
Paul: This is indeed wonderful news! How are the assemblies of your country utilizing this legal right for the Gospel?
Skip: Well, like I said earlier, I preach every week to 30,000 people—
Paul: They are not 30,000 disciples?
Skip: Well, many of them are. We study the Bible every Sunday and the Gospel is preached.
Paul: And what happens next? What do they do?
Skip: Well, they go home, and then they go to work or school.
Paul: How wonderful! Men and women and children serving the communities, sharing the Gospel.
Skip: We did just start a new series of evangelism seminars . . .
Paul: So, how do you get so many people to come to an assembly who are not disciples?
Skip: Ah, yes! Well, we had a meeting of local denominational leaders—
Skip: Uh, church leaders. And we had done research on the local demographic, and we had done a survey—
Paul: Did you pray?
Skip: Yes, of course. And we had taken a survey of what people like to see and experience in a church service.
Paul: Oh, such as the work of the Holy Spirit? Opportunities to serve the poor of the community?
Skip: No, what type of preaching style they like, what type of music they like, and how they like to be served at a church.
Paul: I’m sorry. Did you say “how they like to be served at church”?
Skip: Giving people what they want. That’s how the market works, and the market is always right. This is how we reach as many people as possible.
Paul: Who said that that was the calling? “As many people as possible”?
Skip: Paul, it’s our marketing approach and our excellence that brings people into the doors of our church. And then we preach the Gospel.
Paul: Yes, I understand. And are these people from all different types of wage levels, tribes and tongues?
Skip: Well, sort of.
Paul: And what, again, do they do when they leave? Do they give to the poor? Do they speak out against unjust laws like gladiatorialism? Do they address sin within communities when they see it?
Skip: Sometimes, yes.
Skip: And they always come back on the next Sunday.
Paul: Why? Are they excited to pray together? Hear from the Word of God? Be reunited with brothers and sisters in Christ despite the many burdens and sorrows?
Skip: It’s mostly because of what we do for them that they come back.
Paul: I’m afraid I don’t understand how this works.
Skip: I thought you’d be happy, Paul. We’ve been able to build a church of 30,000 people, and churches all around my country are using our methods to do the same thing.
Paul: But, Skip, you said that many of them were not disciples . . .
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