A push for bigger buildings and budgets can leave many wondering if business plans are more important then the Church’s mission. This issue was debated in the Elephant Room Conference session with megachurch pastors David Platt, Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald.
The point of the conference was to have discussion on several controversial topics like church culture, building attendance, money, and much more. The $40,000 event moderated by Driscoll and MacDonald hosted other influential pastors like Greg Laurie, Matt Chandler, Steven Furtick, and Perry Noble. Although many criticized the amount of money used for the venue, plenty were happy that Platt was able to attend and speak boldly about current stewardship in church.
Platt, as many already know, is shepherd of the huge flock in Birmingham, Ala. He is also the writer of the book called Radical, which is an attempt to make the spreading of the gospel more important than the constructing of comfortable sanctuaries for Christians. This was the main argument for the young pastor when he was asked to share his thoughts on Church and money.
Despite the session being merely a conversation, it soon turned into a tag team match after Platt said that it is “dangerous and damning” for the Church to find more joy in money then in anything else. MacDonald and Driscoll seemed defensive and even implied that Platt was too young to know the way ministry works.
It was clear that Platt was not pleased with how the Church in his hometown used resources for “bigger, better things.” This possibly consisted of building projects and luxuries for in house ministries. Both Driscoll and MacDonald continued to push back saying Platt’s comments were promoting a poverty theology.
However, they missed the case Platt was making. He was simply saying that needs of the poor should be met before Christians think of reclining back on cozy new church seats or even of what snacks to serve the kids. There are real needs abroad, near and in the Church that need to be met, especially during this rough economic time.