The gathering of Christians, under a no-named pastor, who has never written a book, nor ventured on a global speaking tour, is called, “church.” It is glorious in God’s eyes because it is a gathering of God’s people, who all know one another’s name, and who refer to their local meeting as, “church family.”
The world loves all things big. Big mountains, big rivers, big cities, big concerts, and big conferences dominate the landscape. The world of big is no longer foreign to the church. Big named pastors, from big churches, gather in big stadiums to inform the plebeians of what the new, big idea from God is going to be this year.
The big crony network has mastered big venues, spending big money to advertise themselves as Christian gurus. I admit, it was only in the year 2018 when I finally decided I was done with Christian conferences, especially mega conferences led by mega pastors. It is not as if I have been a conference junkie. It has been years since I spent my own money on such gatherings. The reason for my denying myself future big conferences is the realization of wrong motives.
In my study of the Bible, the only motive I have found to be legitimate is love. God is love, and Christ has demonstrated His love toward His church. The Holy Spirit has shone His love in all believers’ hearts. God has not hidden His love, nor the truth, from each child of God.
The chosen conduit of truth, spoken in love, is my local church pastor. He is not famous, but he is faithful, to study and minister the Word of God. While mega pastors flit about the world, wooing fame and acclaim, my pastor is at home preparing to feed me.
The product of mega conferences is form reproduction. In other words, when men and women gather at big venues, the church becomes homogeneous, like the mega gathering experience itself. Suddenly, the churches in rural locales are vying for one another’s members, by reproducing what people experience at the mega conference. Every Sunday becomes a big show, like the big gathering, in the big city.
Has God given your little local church a deficient man of God? Does God withhold His blessing from the little local flock, in favor of the mega gathering? Are mega pastor personalities more endowed with the knowledge and wisdom of God? Is your personal penchant for truth, or is it for emotional experience?
The local church was a “movement” started by Jesus, and He gave every local church the Spirit of truth to teach the Word of truth, which is easily accessible to all Americans. If your love for big gatherings, convened by big names, to produce a big experience, is your big idea for Christian life and growth, then this article is meant to challenge you. The treasures of Christ are in your hands, when you hold your Bible. These treasures are shared with the little flock God has convened in your little town or neighborhood to feed and protect you.
The glorious riches of Christ can be appreciated in ever-greater measure by those in close communion, as each of us draws near to Christ at home, in our families, and in our local church families. God’s ways are higher than man’s ways, and man’s way it to lust for all things bigger.
Fear not to rejoice in your little local flock. Rejoice in your no-named pastor, who actually knows your name! Rejoice that the local church is God’s plan for world evangelization and for each saint’s edification. Take your hundreds or thousands spent on the mega conference experience and put it in the offering plate of your local church, as your investment in the world-wide kingdom of God — and look for the little things God does in the place He has chosen to bless you…your local church.
July 27, 2021