“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
I’ll admit to a certain amount of frustration at times from various books I read, even the odd conference – here it is….
Try to grow a church and people say, ‘Oh you’re all about the numbers.’
As if the numbers weren’t people.
People like your kids, your neighbours, your friends.
Don’t you want them to come to Jesus too?
I talked in church yesterday about how Jesus refused the numbers game when at the beginning of John 4 the Pharisees started comparing his growth stats with John the Baptists’ – how he went to a lone broken woman in an unexpected place on the margins, because the kingdom of heaven does not usually advance by crowds but one life at a time. (In fact through that one woman’s story revival hit the town!).
But sometimes lack of relevance or connectedness to ordinary people – evangelistic ineffectiveness – is applauded as a sign of faithfulness rather than a cause of concern or a need to change and try something different.
Being ‘attractional‘ has been made a dirty word in some church settings, and I don’t get that. How about ‘A city set on a hill cannot be hidden?’
Will doing/ being/ leading church better help or hinder that?
I know being the light of the world is not all about having a big lighting rig or the best sound systems etc. (but I’d rather the sound etc. be as good as it can be with what we’ve got).
What are you doing to help?
What are you doing to hinder?
Are you praying/serving/encouraging/helping church get better?
Or are you getting bitter?
Or shall I talk about batter….
Because there’s a chip shop just opened near us here in Didsbury.
So what? Well people queue up outside this chippy, in the rain, without brollies if needs be. Long queues. For fish and chips. They’ll be queuing now, I bet.
Something fishy about that?
Well you know there are good chippies and bad ones.
They are just being the very best they can be.
It’s no good just opening a chippy and hoping (or even praying) people will come. They might stumble in once, but if the service or food or hospitality is awful, they’ll not come back.
Bad Practices: The town I lived in when in Devon, the local chinese – the owner threatened an environmental health inspector with a cleaver. I didn’t want to go to that chippy!
Bad ‘Advertising;’ I once saw a curry house on Oldham Road that had a cardboard sign in the window; ‘WE DO NOT HAVE COCKROACHES.’ Didn’t make me want to find out for myself to be honest. Sometimes – even with the best intentions – we shoot ourselves in the foot.
The new chip shop in Didsbury village must be doing something right, (chip shop evangelists?)! So much so, I’m going to try it tonight too, to see what’s remarkable about it – and so it goes, and grows.
Somebody is doing something RIGHT there – something different. Others in that industry who are wise and humble can learn from them.
Could churches learn something too? About something much more important.
They’re not content to just ‘be faithful’ to gather around the fryer and know that they have had fellowship making fish and chips again- they actually want to feed people!
They’re not happy to occasionally have a regular customer come back once a week or once a month and have their chip need met. They want hungry people to come to COD! To have the peas that passes understanding.
I bet if you meet the owners and employees, they’ll be passionate, knowledgeable, excited and friendly. They want a fish and chip revival!
I think we can learn something from this, and we should – if we’re going to be the light of the world that attracts people to Jesus.
Extra salt please!