After blogging my church story in in this article I received an email from Frank Johnson with a link to his story. Once again, I find that people who have never met are going through many of the same things, and coming to the same conclusions. It’s almost as if we’re all connected, all listening to the same Spirit. Go figure. I liked what Frank had to say:
While I was complaining, the Lord asked me a question. I can’t tell you how profound the moment was for me and how deeply it has affected my life since then. The question the Lord asked me was, “Frank, do you want to be a pastor, or do you want to pastor people?”
And a bit after that: “I also came to the conclusion in my heart that all of God’s children are called to full-time ministry (does He call anyone to serve Him part-time?)” Frank goes on to talk about a gap between the pastor and the people, wherein he identifies how being a pastor can hinder you from actually pastoring people. Then later:
Once at my day job, while getting some water to drink (I call this my “Water Cooler Experience”), I was mulling the book [on church growth] over in my mind and asking myself that question again: “If these principles (for overcoming attendance barriers) are valid for the church at all times and in all places, why don’t I see anything about them in the New Testament?”
And the Lord spoke to me again. And this is what He said to me: “Of course it doesn’t say anything in the New Testament about what to do when a church reaches 100 people, because in the New Testament, a church never reached 100 people.”
And then there’s this bit, which sounds very familiar to me:
We began to believe that the best expression of the church would be in what some have called a “house church cluster” – a group of house churches in a particular city which would meet separately on a weekly basis, but then come together for large gatherings perhaps every 1-2 months.
These house churches would be led by a council of elders which would also meet regularly. The church would not own property and would generally not have paid staff.
It’s nice to know that I’m at least no more daft than Frank is… the wonder of the Internet. Follow the link to his story.