Thursday, April 17, 2014

Restless Sheep and Popularity Contests

Any high school election is just a popularity contest. Hopefully, when these teens are old enough to vote in a general election, they will also be mature enough to judge candidates on legitimate merits, not on good looks and personality.

That said, in my lifetime, I've observed an increase of popularity contests among churches, as they try harder and harder to outdo each other in attracting large crowds. Sadly, though, most churches are not increasing the flock with “new believers” but by “transfer” growth, people moving from one church to another. This is sometimes referred to, especially by the 'losing' church, as “stealing sheep.”

In the Church at Corinth, the sheep were aligning themselves with the most popular shepherds within the local church, causing divisions (1 Cor. 3). While this was condemned by Paul, he did not address any problem with “transfer” growth (after all, there was only one church). In our day, there seems to be an increase of restlessness among the sheep. Is this another sign of our times?


  1. Good morning Greg,
    Good post. Thank you.
    As Paul noted, whether from false motives or true, what matters is that the gospel is preached. For it is through the foolishness of preaching that people are saved.
    That said, it should be noted that one of the things about sheep is that they will feed on grass, following the food trail until they become lost. This is why they need a shepherd. There is a chance that these migrating sheep (believers in churches that hop) have listened to preaching designed for itching ears and are losing their way. When believers follow a culture ("I want a praise band that uses drums") or a person ("He's funny and a good storyteller."), they are not following Jesus, even if they are following a church or a person that is following Jesus.

  2. True. Thankfully the Holy Spirit doesn't abandon wandering sheep!