In these last days we find many churches displaying the elements that say 'success.' Large numbers, great venue, talented ministers, community outreach and growth. If these elements are exponential you might even get a TV slot! If we have these things emerging or you have arrived in these spaces it seems obvious God is at work. After all, God wants to be visible to the unsaved public, right? It seems like the bigger the platform we can achieve for the Lord, the more he has obviously gone before us. This being the case, the person or people who began this work must be able to pass on the way this amazing thing happened? Now where can I get the book? They must have something to offer! Now a market is created.
What if God doesn't operate this way? What if, there are another set of values that God uses and He is not budging on His ways, no matter how contemporary and relevant we be? What if God is wanting 'yellow cake,' and there is no way any well resourced facility full of 'lean-mean praising machines' can achieve it? This idea has burned within my bones for over 20 years and stopped me doing the 'done thing' for church. In the UK I ran a business which got me in the hallowed halls of Westminster, the secretary of state's office. During this time I found out all business needs three elements: finance, marketing and innovation. Logically, if we have these in the area of church growth we will be successful. The world is impressed by scale. Big is always beautiful, size is always strength and let's face it, you can only write a book if you have solid answers, right! But it appears none of this is God's biblical way.
The characters of the bible were apprehended by God to do exploits. Today we miss that crucial element and assume because the work is done, we now just need to get on with it. But this is far from the truth. God wants yellow cake! He wants to have a people who are available to disconnect from the system and wait for Him to apprehend them. No-one gets away with it. Scripture can tell you a ballpark of God's will but only God Himself, right here, right now can apprehend and refine. Look at the scriptures, we see everyone taken through a process of refinement. David was a fugitive. Moses was a lowly shepherd. Jesus was a carpenter and if we see anything about Jesus from the gospels he is opposing the system at large! Jesus was ready to detonate all the time! All of this is the process of preparation... refining into yellow cake. When the time comes, God has something he can detonate and with the disciples we see the book of Acts... Boom! So how do we line ourselves up for the possibility that God wants to refine us to produce yellow cake explosive potential?
Firstly we need to walk away from the un-apprehended masses, the ones practising a 'rote' kind of faith. Jesus walked away from his religious peers via a cliff edge! Second we must be part of a church that fits with scriptural dimensions. This means meeting as Jesus directed, eat a meal together in a family home and share what is on your heart. Thirdly we must stop all mission activity. WHAT? Yes, stop all the meeting needs that you see to be needs and wait for the Lord to clearly apprehend and send. God wants people like this to meet together so he can refine and produce yellow cake. You are made for an individual purpose, not the bog-standard firecracker-faith of historical church.
Next time you look at a small group meeting simply without marketing, finance and innovation, remember, God may be doing a work you know nothing about. This may be more authentic biblically than anything that seems to show the elements of 'success.' These small home based groups are intending to reproduce ekklesia, the assemblies of the first century. Logically, big platforms and resources look like they are winning. But if God should choose to detonate a refined people we could see something we have not seen authentically since the first century. Anyone can fake stuff and prevaricate over the truth. Maybe He won't detonate our group? Maybe he will? None of this is the point. The point is that we make ourselves available in thought, practice and purpose to allow the Lord to produce yellow cake amongst His people. When we boil all of our Christian walk down, it is really to expend 'self' on Him. Basic calibration to what is written sets us on the pathway to becoming empowered to cause a mushroom cloud wherever God has placed us.
It's less about vision and more about fission.