Building crowds or building the church?

        Every Sunday at Mountain Lake these days, we're having HUGE CROWDS of people. It's exhilarating to see packed parking lots, auditoriums, and children's classrooms. Pastors love that! However, can I just tell you that I'm more convinced than ever before that a church can build HUGE CROWDS and NOT BE building a church! I really do believe that every church has a choice: Building crowds or building the church. What's the difference? Well, first of all, a crowd is not a church.  You can have a crowd at a football game, a Nascar Race, at a concert, and at Wal-Mart. A crowd does not constitute a church. However, a crowd can become a church!
        As Pastors and ministry leaders, I believe it's our job to turn crowds into a church!  For a crowd to become a church, two things must be present ABOVE all others: People loving and serving  God; and people loving  and serving each other. Notice I didn't say anything about preaching, programming, or music. Did you know we can have a church without any of those? All we need is God and each other!
        After nine years of ministry at Mountain Lake, I think I'm finally figuring out the difference between building crowds and building the church. We're  loving God and loving each other better than we ever have. We're investing into our spiritual leadership better than ever before. We're pursuing God's presence in our services and small groups like never before. We're challenging our crowd to become a church like never before. And it's happening., I see it. I feel it. God is at work. He's changing lives. Because we're becoming a church!
        See, I think God is looking for groups of people today that understand who they are and what they're on earth for: To love Him and love each other and display Him to a watching world! Mountain Lake, I see God doing this in and through us and I'm honored to lead the charge!