Over one billion people worship Jesus in Small Churches tucked into every corner of the globe. What could we possibly do to light the fuse that would allow us to tap into this astonishing potential?
How would we structure it? What should we tell them to do? And who can we call upon to lead it?
We wouldn’t, we shouldn’t and we can’t.
We don’t need to light the fuse. It has been lit already.
This is something God has done.
He did it without us creating a plan for it. He did it mostly without our cooperation.
He did it with many of us fighting it every step of the way – including me, until recently.
The quickest way to kill it would be to put a person in charge of it. (Actually, the quickest way would be to put a
committee blue-ribbon panel in charge of it.)
While we’ve been obsessed with building large congregations, God has been planting Small Churches like spiritual seeds in thirsty ground, into every possible furrow on earth.
We’ve only begun to recognize it, let alone appreciate or utilize it. But there are two principles we can adopt that would help fan this flicker into a flame.
1. Support Small Churches
Let’s refuse to buy the lie any more. Size is not an accurate measure of the health or strength of a congregation. Small Churches need our prayers and support, not our condescending ideas about how to “fix” what isn’t wrong.
Let’s encourage, connect and equip innovative small church leaders (that sounds eerily familiar) as each one plays their part in this extraordinary work – starting by recognizing just how extraordinary the work is.
2. Stay Out of God’s Way
Let’s try not to mess up what God is doing this time, shall we?
This is the one concern I have as I do the work of New Small Church. I pray that, by bringing this extraordinary work of God to light, we won’t be tempted, as usual, to overstep our place and mess this up by trying to help God out. Sometimes I wonder if God does greater work with us fighting against him, than when we try to help him.
The history of the church is filled with examples of our bewildering capacity to mess up what God has started. And the massive flood of Small Churches throughout the world is definitely something God has started.
Maybe the best thing we can do for Small Churches – and the only strategy I can imagine – is to have no strategy at all.
Jesus has brought us this far. He’ll lead us the rest of the way.
How Did We Miss This?
The biggest mystery, to my mind at least, is how so many of us have completely missed what God has been doing through Small Churches.
Not one statistic I’ve mentioned in this series is obscure or even disputed. Not the percentage of large to Small Churches, the number of people in them, their worldwide spread, or their importance in people’s lives.
But, until I cobbled them all together, I never saw Small Churches this way. I’m guessing you’d say the same.
I’ll tackle that mystery in my next post, The Astonishing Power of Small Churches: How Did We Miss This?
Today’s post is Part 3 of a multi-post series this week on The Astonishing Power of Small Churches.
So what do you think? What can we do, or not do, to allow this move of God to stay lit?
We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
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