Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Think Small

Out of Ur published a post some time back about why small church ministry is harder than large church ministry. "Harder" is a loaded word, I'll admit, but here is the real money quote:
(BTW, did you know that statistics say that small church growth (from 10-150) is where the conversion growth, as opposed to transfer growth, occurs? Why then do evangelicals exalt the mega congregations as the answer to reaching those outside of Christ?)
Why that is a parenthetical instead of the point of the whole post, I have no idea. To me it is completely sensical that conversion is much more difficult than attraction - end of story, point made, the rest of what he discusses is, in light of that fact, just trivia.

But what I really wish is that he had cited, or better linked to, the statistics he draws on. This is something I have contended from the very beginning - big churches entertain - they are not really a a part of the transformative experience. What is true of conversion, is most assuredly true of discipleship as well. It happens in your face, not through media, and even attending a large service with minimal personal contact is media - it's just live media.

Christ Himself is the personal - isn't that sort of definitionally what the incarnation is all about?

It seems like "Christianity" has become nothing more than a label and we spend enormous amounts of time, energy, and intellect deciding who gets to wear the label. There are all sorts of different criteria - institutional affiliation -- theology -- saying the sinner's prayer -- but I cannot help but think all of these things fall short of the marks that Christ Himself would use to decide who can bear His name. I am also struck by how very similar the marks we discuss are to those that the "Pharisees and hypocrites" Christ so forcefully denounced used. Just because they are not behavioral does not rob them of being legalistic.

We are stuck in an age where growth is considered the only reasonable sign of health. I agree, but I'll take growth in Christ any day.

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