James MacDonald Quotes
“The entity God created to traffic His transcendence has fallen far from its mission when it chooses instead to traffic what can be found on any street corner or at the local mall. You may ask, "But how has the church done that?"
* By offering secularists what they find mildly interesting and calling it church.
*By submitting to self-help sermons where encounter with God is not even on the agenda.
* By letting the horizontal excellence of the show stand in for Vertical impact.
*By substituting the surprise or shock of superficial entertainment for the supernatural.
Church was designed to deliver what we were created to long for. Church must again be about a Vertical encounter that interrupts and alters everything.”
“In a society where rationality has ruled so long, the church frequently fails to see that in forsaking the weekly pursuit of the transcendent, we have given up the only ground that was uniquely ours in this world. In attempting to make the church something that can attract and add value to secular mind-sets, we have turned our backs on our one true proposition - transcendence.”
“Most of the church landscape in my lifetime has been heavily invested in trying to do something for Jerry or Sherri or some other icon of unchurchness. The problem is that they have been only about themselves from the moment they could wail for their mothers, and the decision to give them at church what they can find in any self-help book appears now as a choice to abandon the One in whose honor the church gathers. What they need is to be set free from themselves with finality and to be lost in the awesome wonder of the manifest presence of God. It was never God’s desire that He would sit on the sideline and watch us frantically devise impressive ways to reach people or simply hold the line on orthodoxy as though faithfulness can exist in a vacuum apart from fruitfulness. God is the Matter of first importance! Can you say that about your current weekly encounter with church?”
“The problem in the church today is that we treat God's glory as a by-product and the missional activities of the church as the primary thing when the opposite is what Scripture demands. We don't proclaim the gospel and feed the poor and shepherd the flock in hopes that God's glory will be the by-product of those activities. We seek the revealing of the glory of God through the methods He prescribes so that His glory is revealed in the church. When that happens, the lost are converted, the poor are fed, the saints live in unity, and much more, all as by-products of God's manifest presence in the church.”
“Satan mounts his mutiny against God through a deceitful stronghold: God is untrustworthy. In subtle and not-so-subtle ways, he places God's heart on trial by whispering insidious lies: "God is holding back on you. He wants you to jump through hoops in order to earn His love. He's stingy. He doesn't have your best interest in mind. You're better off trusting in yourself. Your resources and functional saviors work better then waiting and trusting in Him.”
“Most of what is wrong in horizontal church flows from attempts to get green apples interested in Jesus. Green apples are very articulate about that they do and don't want in church. They don't want to hear about money, because that is one of their idols; they don't want to be told about sin, because that assaults pride; no interest in pressure to decide for Jesus, because that threatens their autonomy. Sadly when church becomes what green apples must have or they won't come. It ceases to be what it must be for God to attend. Church needs to be offensive to green apples or it can be helpful to those who are ripe.”
- Description: James MacDonald (D. Min. Phoenix Seminary) is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, and both are from Ontario, Canada. He is the father of three grown children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and grandfather to four amazing grandsons. James’ ministry focuses on the unapologetic proclamation of God’s Word. In 1988, along with a small group of ministry partners, James and Kathy planted Harvest Bible Chapel which has grown to 13,000 people each weekend, meeting in six locations.
In 1997, a Bible-teaching broadcast ministry called Walk in the Word was established, now reaching more than three million people weekly. In 2002, a church planting ministry called Harvest Bible Fellowship was born and has established more than 70 churches across North America and around the world. James’ vision is that God will use him to help plant 1,000 churches in his lifetime.
James’ extensive ministry also includes a training center for pastors, a year-round camp, a biblical counseling center, a disaster recovery organization, and a Christian school—all used to reach more people with the life-changing message of the Gospel.
Now impacting millions of lives annually, God’s favor upon these ministries has been described by James as “abundantly baffling.” The MacDonalds’ view their ministry as proof that God still uses broken vessels to pour out His grace.