This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
From The Second Reformation:
In his book Disciple Juan Carlos Ortiz tells about his church experience in Buenos Aires. He began with 184 members and after two years had grown to 600. In his words, his 'Sunday School was tops' and his follow-up system 'was one of the best.' His denomination was so impressed, they invited him to speak at two different conventions. "Yet underneath it all," he wrote, "I sensed that something wasn't right. Things seemed to stay high so long as I worked sixteen hours a day. But when I relaxed, everything came down… I headed for the countryside and gave myself to meditation and prayer. "The Holy Spirit began to break me down. The first thing He said was, 'Juan, that thing you have is not a church. It's a business.' I didn't understand what He meant. 'You are promoting the gospel the same way Coca-Cola sells Coke,' He said, 'the same way Reader's Digest sells books and magazines. You are using all the human tricks you learned in school. But where is My finger in all this?' "I didn't know what to say. I had to admit that my congregation was more of a business enterprise than a spiritual body. "Then the Lord told me a second thing. 'You are not growing,' He said. 'You think you are, because you've gone from 200 to 600. But you're not growing – you're just getting fat.' What did that mean? 'All you have is more people of the same quality as before. No one is maturing; the level remains the same. Before, you had 200 spiritual babies; now you have 600 spiritual babies.'"
Thanks to Sandy for sending me the quote.