CHURCH…God chooses to use ‘ordinary people’ to do extra-ordinary things.

dan o’deens  5.23.2024

The 1881 Principle.   We are all familiar with Acts 1:8.  The Church was waiting on the power of the Holy Spirit.  They had been commissioned to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.   But we forget Acts 8:1.   “Great persecution broke out against the Church and ALL, except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

Jesus chose ordinary members and scattered them and made them missionaries, doing the mission of God while the apostles stayed put.  Jesus knew how to multiply.   He used words like ‘GO’, (Go into all the world) and ‘SEND’ (as the Father has sent me, so send I you.)

We can try as we may to be ‘relevant’ and to gather crowds but without the personal presence of Jesus in our midst our work and effort is futile.  When we neglect the mission of Jesus to scatter and mobilize the Church we potentially engage in efforts of ‘our’ mission rather than the mission of Jesus and His Church.  The mission of Jesus is the Church and the Church was and is intended to multiply.

There are many expressions of the Church.  Rather than make ‘different’ a tool for diversity we have the opportunity to embrace a new idea…a new wineskin.   “But there is more…” is a phrase I have come to love.  At the end of every idea is this phrase.  What if we could adopt a ‘both/and’ approach.  What if the prevailing model became a training ‘hub’ to mobilize the Church?

What is the Church?  The Church is a biblical community of believers experiencing the presence of Jesus (worship), sent out as a spiritual family to pursue and implement His mission in the world.  The microchurch can be defined as “an extended spiritual family, led by ordinary people, who live in everyday Gospel community, and own the mission of Jesus in a network of relationships.”

Ordinary, simple and invisible are necessary words that help us become a healthy multiplying movement of God.  Scripture tells us, ‘do not despise the day of small things.’   We have fallaciously adopted a bigger is better mentality rather than a ‘better is better’ philosophy.  Healthy is better.  Healthy organisms grow and multiply.

The command is for disciples to multiply.   Timothy tells us to make disciples who make disciples.  I love church planting, but the command to ‘plant churches’ is not to be found in the pages of Scriptures.  We must change the paradigm.   What if the prevailing model shifted and became training centers to mobilize the ordinary people in their congregations to be the church and to make disciples?  What if we equipped them and unleashed them?  What if we effectively introduced them to their new best friend, FRANC?  We spend time with our Family and Friends, we have all kinds of Relationships, we need to open our eyes to our Acquaintances, we need to create margin and space so we can actually love our Neighbors, and we need to envision a new mission field that demonstrates God’s love to our Classmates and Colleagues?

Every microchurch feels simple, and ordinary.  Every microchurch is less visible than what our culture has told us is valuable.  To be large, to have amazing buildings, to put on a great show and entertain the already saved is not the mission of Jesus.  Those are not bad things, but have we embraced a model of informational disciple making rather than obedience-based disciple making?  Are we mobilizing ordinary people to make disciples who make disciples?

What if we celebrated the ordinary…the smaller things?   What if our movement was quiet.  What if the model was not built on a dynamic personality who could gather a crowd and entertain a large gathering of people, but instead chose a better way…the way of Jesus, to mobilize ordinary people to carry out the mission of Jesus by demonstrating and proclaiming his love as we build relationships with people and then celebrate their obedience when they make disciples who make disciples.

When ordinary people breathe life into their world the world is a better place. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the LIFE!   Breathing LIFE today, brings a beautiful future tomorrow.   Breath is invisible.  If we want to look like Jesus, we must remember what Colossians 1:15 says, “Jesus is the Son is the image of the invisible God.  For in Him all things were created, all things have been created through him and for him.  We were created to ‘breathe life.’

My friend and microchurch leader Lucas Pulley said it well,  “it’s not one person doing something extraordinary, loud and impressive but thousands of people doing something simple and quiet. but we’ve been so deeply formed by celebrity and attractional that we can’t see the intrinsic beauty and value of the simple and ordinary.”

Stay the course, don’t give up.  Do not despise the day of small, ordinary, simple and invisible things.  When we as ordinary people invite the Spirit of Jesus into our mission, that work and ministry becomes extra-ordinary…