Have we substituted churchyanity for Christianity?


July 22, 2020

Church is not about Attendance numbers, Buildings, Cash or programs or platforms!

It’s certainly not about size, in fact persecution, difficulty, and even Covid and lockdown show us that small is the new big. This kind of church can operate in any country, Nation, any situation and culture.

I wonder if many church leaders and once passionate attendees are tired of doing church and trying to get to the next level… whatever that is? For instance, a church has 60 people attending and the push is on for another 20-30 people? Why? Is simply bigger better? The Great Commission in Matthew 28 never asks this, but asks who are you discipling? There is nothing wrong with 50-60 people in a church. Simply keep making disciples and send them out to multiply churches of 8 or 15 or 50 or 95+.

Shouldn’t we be asking why the overall number of Christians are decreasing in the West? Shouldn’t we be asking why are there so many disillusioned and disengaged Christians in the West? I know these are tough questions! Yet, Church is still God’s plan A. Danny Guglielmucci coined a phrase, ‘Maybe we have substituted churchyanity for Christianity’.

I’m not against church at all, I’m passionate about church and seeing His kingdom extended through multiplying churches. This is what I have given my life to. But the way we are doing this church thing, seems to be causing unhealthy stress, a lot of disillusionment and hopeless discouragement.

Is there another way that is uncomplicated and multipliable? Is there a way that people can plant churches and work in their jobs? Is there a way where it’s less stressful and more sustainable and we still see kingdom expansion? I believe so! But it’s not about ABCPP (see the first sentence).

While in Acts chapter 2 the first church seems to begin as a mega church, many times in scripture church and ministry took place in homes. It kind of gives the idea of size. (Although some of those homes would have been large). Of course, there were meetings in the temple and other large gatherings, but often homes seemed to be the base for mission, miracles, ministry, prayer, teaching and connection. So for me it’s both large and small, but so often we seem to focus on the large getting larger.

See how many times homes are mentioned in the Bible: Matt 26:6. 26:18. Mark 1:29ff: Mark 2:1-2ff. Mark 7:17. Mark 14:3ff. Luke 19:5. Acts 2:1 this was probably a large home. Acts 2:46. 5:42. 9:11ff. 9:36-42. 10:2ff. 10:9-17. 12:12ff. 16:32-35. 16:40. 18:7-8. 20:20. 28:7ff (an estate is a large home) 28:23. 28:30. Roms. 16:5. 1 Cor. 16:19. Col 4:15. Phil v2.

Add to this the countless churches over the centuries that have begun in homes and in fact, still meet in homes.

Friends, church is about people. People worshipping God, opening the Word, involved in their community, making disciples and mission.

That’s multipliable, sustainable and uncomplicated. Let’s do it!

During lockdown, I wrote my simple “How To Multiply Churches” book, which is out at the end of August…watch this space. It’s at the publisher now receiving the finishing touches…

We sold our lovely home in Cambridge just before lockdown and we have been staying in various places while Karen finishes her funeral directing work in Hamilton. She now works with a sister company in Tauranga and we are looking for a home. Exciting days. I continue to disciple, zoom and speak in churches in NZ. The Europe churches are doing well. Hopefully Karen and I will be able to get there in 2021.

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