Least in the Kingdom... thank you for providing that link. It is informative in several respects... and one of the most important is that the overseers and elders of denominational Christianity are demanding more and more from their clergy in developing cash flow for the church. Some denominations have made religion into a business and that is an abomination... using God's Word as leverage to make money.
The Teaching Apostles, who Christ sent out to share His Gospel in His own lifetime, were told not to bring along a begging bag as the heathen teachers did... Please read with me-
Matthew 10:8-10 (NLT)
Mark 6:8-9 (NLT)
Luke 9:3 (NLT)
If God's Teaching Work is done and done properly, God will provide for the teacher (Preacher or Pastor)... and there will be no need for the teacher to constantly have to be involved in fund raising. God's Children tithe where they are taught properly. Those churches today, who are loosing members and are loosing tithing monies, may be the modern equivalent to the false teaching churches mentioned by Christ and as told by John the elder in Revelation 2-3 (KJV). When a modern day Preacher has to devote only 10 minutes to present a sermon and 50 minutes to beg for church funding, there may be something wrong at the very basic level of church operations as well as what is being taught.
The article that 'Least in the Kingdom' has supplied includes other reasons as well, but go over the text and think about all facets of the congregational thinning dillema and ask yourself if that same type of thing is happeneing at your own church... and if so, what is the reason? It may be an eye opener for you.
"I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." Acts 20:29-31
But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene-- walk!" Acts 3:6
[1 Sam 2:30] The Lord will honor those who honor Him. If the Word is faithfully preached, the wolves will leave and the sheep will stay. I heard a new statistic that 4% of professing Christians tithe. That shows how apostate this nation is. Also many are in churches hearing an apostate and watered down message. Followers of Christ will give to God out of love and obedience, and a worker is worth his wages. These are tough times, and many will suffer, but the Lord will provide our needs, as He said,
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33
John 12:26 "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
If the message being preached honors God, He will honor it. Many preach smooth words just to line their pockets.
Matthew 7:15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
When the deceitfulness of wealth and empty promises of worldly prosperity fail, God's people will stick together. Churches are much more sincere when the sheep and the shepherd are not there for money but are there for Jesus as brothers and sisters in Christ. In persecuted areas, where people are there for the Gospel, and are being killed for their testimony of Christ, they can't understand living for a gospel that doesn't save or dying for a testimony of smooth words.
May God draw us all nearer to Him and keep us all from the love of the world, in Jesus' Majestic Name.