We tend to honor those ventures that are big and impressive by outward measurements. We are impressed by Apple and Microsoft for starting in garages and becoming giants in their industry. Those companies that do not succeed (anyone remember the Commodore 64?) are simply dismissed as ‘less than’ and their contributions virtually ignored.
In many ways, this ‘success’ mentality is still part of how we evaluate the church. Outward growth in numbers has been a key marker. Size and fame of a ministry is considered an indicator of its effectiveness.
But are these the true markers of the church of Jesus Christ? And does this mentality keep us from appreciating the true, everyday heroics of those who daily seek to follow Jesus, bring Him glory, care about others, use what gifts he/she has without looking for recognition?
Doesn’t the truly ‘big’ impact come from the way that God orchestrates the daily obedience of every believer into a tapestry that glorifies Him rather than the superstars of faith? Isn’t the true church really about the Head who leads and works through every single follower of Jesus having daily, simple impacts on His world?
This changes the focus from size and success of ministry to the, truly, important things that Jesus’ followers are called to do:
- Provide relief to someone in need
- Show love to a neighbor
- Share God’s love in word and deed
- Share someone else’s burden
- Visit the sick
- Care for the one ignored by others
- Pray for the lost
- Etc, etc, etc.
Perhaps the most important change still taking place in the church today is from this mentality of ‘big’ ministry to the everyday, every-person minister being unleashed right where he/she is using whatever spiritual gifts and compassion he/she has to work with… right now… today.
Sometimes I am asked: How is the house church movement going? But what they really seem to be asking is this: “Is the house church movement going to explode into something really ‘big.’ Because if it is, then I might want to pay attention to it.”
Maybe, in time, it will explode into something measurably ‘big.’ Or maybe it already has. I don’t know. But what I do know is that the house church movement is celebrating the gifts and calling of every believer, known and unknown, who is seeking to quietly, daily serve the Kingdom, bring glory to God, love on a neighbor, reach out to someone in need. And maybe, considering the big Orchestrator who is in control, it doesn't get any bigger than that!
Categories for this post include house church, simple church, organic church