I am convinced that the measure of a person’s faith and the effectiveness of a church does not amount to how big things are. How big an impact is made. How big a program or an event is. How powerful something is that makes you feel spiritual, blessed, or simply just makes you feel good.
We live in the Mega-age. Everything is huge. Mega-stores, mega-malls, mega-events, mega-churches and on it goes, mega-trends. Something is troubling about the mega-trends to me, especially in Christianity.
I wish to address this in generalities for the moment. The Bible, our only rule and final guide of faith, in the New Testament overall, presents faith and Christianity as small group interaction and evangelism after the day of Pentecost, mostly as one-on-one, individual. Think coffee-house sized groups and sharing your faith with someone in their living-room.
A friend of mine is a campus minister, once for over 20 years at a small university of about 6000 and now at a major university in the Midwest of about 40,000. The way he leads these campus ministries is mostly through small groups and one-on-one encounters. There are small groups of all sort, men’s, women’s, fraternity, and various Bible study groups and his evangelism and mentoring is even smaller, individually. In terms of methods, it is most effective.
Yet in this culture of mega-everything, the count is about the largest number of people, and/or programs, and/or small type of big thing. Yet, Philip preached to an Ethiopian official (Acts 8), Jesus mentored a small group of 12 (read the Gospels). Paul spoke to large groups of people but mentored people and evangelized individuals in small groups and individually.
Grab a cup of coffee, sit down with me as we consider what level spirituality and faith grows in.