vendredi 19 mars 2004

It's not too big as long as people still exist

"...But when you decide to become part of the family, when you decide to give to the church, when you decide to allow your lives to be touched by other people and when you allow your life to be a difference maker for Jesus, it's not too big. Glorify in the fact that people are coming. But if our church is too big because we're reaching out to the community, because we're touching lives in ways that they need to be touched, because we're preaching the gospel and we're not watering it down, because we're bringing people to Jesus, how can it be too big? ...It's not about a church, it's about reaching people for Jesus, and if a church starts getting too big, then maybe they're just reaching people for Jesus. And if you're uncomfortable with that, I'd have to ask you why."
- Derek Mann, March 14, 2004

Beautiful, beautiful response to the common charge that, "Your church is too big." If I had a nickel for every time someone said that about my church, obviously trying to stigmatize the body of Christ that I hold so dear to my heart and whose members I consider my family, I could pay for my spring class. I've been in conversations with Christians who have talked about how horrible large churches are, not realizing that I attend one myself, and offending me in the process. They will go on and on, bashing the fact that these churches are too big - yet they fail to see that it is these churches that are also drawing people to Jesus. I have not criticized a small church, yet I see that others have no problems criticizing a big one. Why?

Ridiculous as it may sound (and wrong!), can you imagine Christians saying things like, "Oh, heaven's too big. Why did God let so many people in? I like it better when it's small. A large heaven is too impersonal. Why can't it just be us and shut the door? I don't like having lots of people around." I hope I never hear that coming from a Christian! But can you see why it is just as bad to discredit the large church simply because there are lots of people worshipping God there? I'm not arguing against preference at all here, I respect that people tend towards different environments - what I'm trying to get across is that Christians should not make disparaging comments about Christ-honouring, Spirit-filled, God-oriented, biblically-faithful churches just because of its size. Not only does it cause much division and hurt the feelings of many people who work and serve to reach out to the world, it is a major hindrance to the cause of Jesus Christ. Please pick your battles elsewhere, where it is relevant.

"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb."
- Revelation 7:9

May every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Amen. May it be so.

(Hey, heaven's going to be immensely, mind-bogglingly crowded. Might as well prepare for it now!)

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