Pastor. Teacher. International Speaker. Kingdom Entrepreneur.
Sean Morris’s Christian journey is truly global, spanning three decades across many countries and cities. Together with his wife Trudie and three children, Sean has ridden the waves of what many would refer to as ‘Christian success’, yet he found himself confronted by God in a way that challenged the very essence of what ‘Christian success’ was. And the change that resulted, not only transformed him, his marriage and his family, but resulted in the birth of Grow World – an amazing community and move of people who seek first, the Kingdom of God.
After planting a new church in Austria, that grew exponentially with numerous church plants and ministries launched, anyone looking in saw a picture of ‘success’ in church and ministry.
Even C. Peter Wagner, a well-known Christian academic and author, had referred to Sean and Trudie, and the church they were building in one of his books. To Sean, it was as if they had arrived – they had discovered the recipe of explosive church growth and success.
Here is where God confronted him. On the one hand, he was being celebrated as successful in many church circles yet, on the other hand, he was being challenged deeply within, questioning what he believed were the measures of success – attendance, baptisms, finance, programs.
And that’s where God stopped him in his tracks!
One night, The Holy Spirit told Sean to drive through the city on his way home from a church meeting instead of trekking his usual route. The scales fell from his eyes. He saw deprivation, drug deals, crime, prostitution and more.
After sourcing the data on the state of the city, it was incredibly revealing. It had been in decline for the past decade. And in same 3-5yrs of the church’s explosive growth, the city had experienced its most significant decline – all the indicators showed major deterioration.
And what was so difficult to reconcile was that a ‘move of God’ that many were describing as a revival, with profound ‘church’ growth, did not translate into transformational impact in the city?
The Lord asked him these questions- ‘Is this city better off because of your presence as a church or not? Have you as a church by your presence and growth improved things in the city? Would the city even notice if you weren’t here any longer?’
Just Wow! Those questions were life-changing.
While one could argue that church growth was partly due to the decline in the city, deep down, Sean understood what the Lord was saying. He and Trudie had poured everything into building this thing called ‘church’ that now consumed 95% of all of its resources, was obsessed with itself, it’s own growth, it’s own well-being, its own image and spirituality.
Sean says “Don’t misunderstand me; we were deeply motivated to get souls saved. But our view of church and the world was askew- deeply flawed! And here I was, one of the loudest voices perpetuating this culture – riding this so-called wave of ministry success while my city/community was in deep decline. Facing this reality brought about a huge crisis internally in regards to my leadership and calling. I felt like I had climbed the so-called ‘ladder of success’ only to find it leaning against the wrong building!”
The Lord spoke so clearly to Sean.
“Lead my people back to the Kingdom, and I will build ‘my’ church. My glory will fill the earth.’