We Don’t Have an Edge
by: Allen Domelle
The past three days, I have been in Mexico City, Mexico, preaching for Pastor Kevin Wynne and his national pastors conference. It has truly been a wonderful week of meetings. The crowds were the best I have seen in a conference in a long time. The spirit of the conference was truly exciting as you heard shouts of “Amen” throughout the preaching and the altars filled during the invitation time.
One of the thoughts that hit me square in the face this week is that this is now the largest gathering of independent Baptist preachers and Christians worldwide. The crowds in the daytime were not a drop in the bucket; instead, the auditorium was packed out with over 3,500 people in each service with a youth service that had at least 1,500 in attendance. The day, and especially the night sessions, were so full that they often had an extra overflow service to house the crowd, and sometimes two overflow services were needed.
It saddened my heart that America no longer has the largest gathering of independent Baptist; instead, it seems that the LORD has chosen to bless the Hispanic people with that privilege. I’m afraid that we in America have always thought we have an edge on every other nation, but God truly showed me that this thought process is erroneous. It was very evident this week that we don’t have an edge on God. I’m afraid we think we have that edge on God because of our chandeliers, nice buildings, fancy offices, technology, refined personalities, culturally correct preaching, nice wardrobes and contemporary services. The thinking that America has an edge on God is the furthest thing from the truth.
What I saw this week throws much of what is being taught in the states out the window. They didn’t have fancy buildings, just buildings that fits the need of holding the crowd. They didn’t have air conditioning other than the air that blows through the auditorium if there was a good breeze. These people didn’t have much of what is being pushed as important church building tools in America, yet God is blessing in a tremendous way. I watched people sit four hours straight with no breaks each morning, and three hours in the afternoon. After having a short break to eat supper, they gathered again for another three hours of preaching. They didn’t complain about the hard, narrow benches that were so close that when you sat down your knees were nearly touching the pew in front of you. What I saw this week were people who simply had a love for God and wanted God to use them.
The reality that hit me this week was that America is about ready to lose the blessings of God if her Christians don’t wake up. Friend, Americans don’t have an edge on God. Just because we have the fancy buildings and well choreographed services doesn’t make us better than anyone else. If anything, America has lost her edge of why God blessed her. What became very evident to this preacher is that God will use anyone who is willing to do what He says.
God is not using Bro. Wynne and his church to reach thousands every Sunday and hold a conference with thousands of delegates because of their suave personalities or contemporary services. No, God blesses them because they are willing to do whatever God wants them to do. I watched his son, Tim Wynne, open up his house all week long to the preachers as a guest room to relax and study in between their preaching times. I watched the people of the church work hard to make sure the delegates were welcomed, and also saw them sit with open hearts to the preaching of the Word of God.
Paul said in Acts 18:6, “And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.”Because the Jews refused to follow through on what God wanted them to do, they lost the edge of being the spiritual leader in the world and saw the baton passed on to the Gentile world.
I firmly believe that America is about ready to lose the blessings of God of being the spiritual leader because of our erroneous assumed edge on God. I absolutely believe that God can still do something great in America if we have the “want to.” However, if we continue on with the mentality that we have the edge on Christianity because we are America, then we can get ready to step back and become like England who only has a past to talk about.
If we truly want God to bless, then we are going to have to work hard to get our ministries going again. Bro. Wynne’s church is no mistake. It is a result of hard work. You can give your excuses of why churches are not growing in America, and it truthfully comes down to the fact that we just are not working. Great churches are not built by preachers who are more interested in their golf score than they are the work of the LORD. If God is going to bless the ministries in America once again, then His people are going to have to get back to working hard without an apology.
If we truly want God to bless our churches, then we are going to have to get consumed with the souls of men. God is not going to bless a church that is not aggressively going after the souls of men. You can say that people are not open in your area, or you can believe God can still save the souls of men in abundance. I know, you say that Bro. Wynne is in Mexico City and that people are receptive to the Gospel in his city. Well, to help you with your excuse, Mexico City has been known to be the graveyard of preachers because they said the people were not receptive. Bro. Wynne, and the people of his church, just believed they are to follow the command to reach the lost for Christ even if it is hard. Your two or three hours of soul winning a week will not build a great church.
If we truly want God to bless our churches, then we are going to have to preach the whole counsel of God. Bro. Wynne does not cut the corners on his sermons to build a large church. Instead, I heard him preach a strong sermon on Thursday morning, the likes that most churches in the states would never have him back if he dared to preach that sermon in their church. Hard preaching has always been a part of great independent Baptist churches. People are people in every generation, and people desire to hear absolutes. America will never again have thriving independent Baptist churches as long as we preach culturally correct sermons and not scripturally correct sermons. Culture rarely agrees with the Scriptures, and the preachers who choose old paths preaching will find that God will bless their obedience.
If we truly want God to bless our churches, then God’s people are going to have to stick their necks out once again and live by faith. They are going to have to believe that it still takes the power of God, and that God will not empower those who are not willing to step out by faith and do what others say will not work. God will quickly remove His blessings from those churches that choose to point their successes to themselves and not give Him the glory. The churches in Mexico are growing because the men of God have decided to stick their necks out for God and start churches everywhere. God has blessed this and will bless in America again if narrow minded preachers will remember that church planting in their own country is a part of missions.
The only reason God is beginning to move His blessings over to ministries like Bro. Wynne’s and not keep His blessings in the states is because of the vision of this pastor. He runs two services to house the crowds on Sunday mornings, and is in a building campaign to double the size of his auditorium. When asked if he would go back to one service, he responded that the open space in both services will give them a chance to reach more people for Christ.
I wonder where the vision of American pastors has gone. Have we become so filled with pride that we have lost our vision for God to do something great through us? Psalm 81:10 says, “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” How wide open is your mouth towards God? Do you have a great vision. God has no reason to bless American Christians if we are not willing to expand our vision and work hard and pray to see those visions come to reality.
Nobody has an edge on God. I believe the greatest days of Bro. Wynne’s ministry is ahead as long as he and his people keep a humble spirit and never acquire the mentality that they have an edge on God. Likewise, God can bless churches in America again if we will throw out the mentality that we have an edge on God and Christianity, and just get busy doing what God has commanded us to do.
Allen Domelle is the editor of the Old Paths Journal which is more than just a Christian’s publication. It is an excellent place to learn how today’s headlines will forge tomorrow’s laws and statutes. Keep yourself in tune with what is happening around the world, as well as in your own backyard with our daily updates and devotionals.