We live in a society that is obsessed with the concept of – if its bigger its better. We see this in our food serving sizes, our cars, our houses, our sexual organs, our corporations, our clubs, our muscles, our etc etc etc and even our churches. If we have 3000 people and 5 different services we have made it to heaven – we are the kingdom of God. If we have 6 different satellite campuses we must be spreading the word. If we see 10,000 salvation’s a year we must be doing pretty good. (unless the stats are correct and 9,000 of those either leave the church during the year or ‘get saved’ the next time too) And I’ve come to share with you, from a hilarious anecdote about sex – the size of church doesn’t matter, its what you do with it.
Imagine a church planter who plants 600 churches. 4 of those churches become mega-churches and the rest of the churches keep multiplying churches all throughout the region. They keep growing and growing, using all talents of the whole congregation. The size of these groups are tiny, but they are functioning in their giftings. Go back to the mega churches and they are busting a move. They are seeing salvations, they are seeing communities in revival. They are led by a group of 10 men, who are served by a further 40 people who are all working in their calling, their strengths. They feel like God is really using them. 2950 people, turn up, get blessed by the 50 and go home. They don’t need to work in their giftings, someone else is doing that for them. Now, this is not a reference to a particular church. This is a complete hypothetical coming out of the premise that in the midst of comfort, apathy reigns. When apathy reigns, muscles aren’t exercised and atrophy sets in. The size of such a community, sometimes stands in the way of God moving. Can you imagine what the holy spirit could do in the middle of a meeting of 1000 people?
But how often does a large crowd size, compute into leaving the spirit space? 1000 human wills.
Am I limiting the spirits power to be able to move? No. Am I limiting humanities power to partner with the spirit and see great change? No. Am I realistic in the history of large, human movements having moments of clarity but mostly relying on ourselves and our own schedule to “control” the masses? Maybe.
I believe that God has given a lot of power to us as his kingdom. I believe when he said go into all the world, he meant it and he’s waiting for us to do it.
Do I think that that will happen with mega churches? It can. Do I think it has? Nope. Because I understand that like me, humanity as a whole likes belonging to something. We were made for it. So when you have a choice between being a faceless member of a sea of goodness, and being the leader of a tiny group of imperfect individuals who rely on your skills to get things done – we usually pick the easy option cause it features a comfy couch and cafe and sometimes fame.
But in every example I’ve seen of BIG things, we get rid of God and rely on our seemingly unbreakable strength. And in the SMALL things, we have to rely on God. We were created to rely on God. We were created as specific puzzle pieces in an amazingly beautiful puzzle. And like a big house, we could easily get bored of all the space. But in a small house we are forced to relate and get sharper because we HAVE TO.
Could the world become a lot better if we put ourselves in situations of HAVE TO instead of avoiding even the SHOULD DO’s?