The fastest growing churches are the ones without ‘walls’, the New Testament church, the persecuted underground church in China, the Pentecostal church in South America and parts of Africa. They have no buildings, no institutions, no professional leadership, but they have the body of Christ involved in all spheres of life.
In Africa I have visited thriving schools, garages, barbers, markets and churches ‘under a big tree’; no walls! Jesus`s ministry had no walls.
There were as few as 25,000 christians in 100 AD but by 310 AD there were 20 million.
The Pentecostal movement has grown to about 350 million in the last 200 years.
I am using the term ‘walls’ figuratively, let’s say no formal building. In South Korea, Paul Yonggi Cho, leader of a mega church, always maintained that the real church existed in the cells and that the rest was frills.
My calling for the last few years has been to try to link the formal with the informal church and to encourage ‘every member ministry’ at the grass roots. The ‘formal’ and the ‘informal’ church need each other. We are all brothers and sisters in the same family!
What can we do? Gordon Cosby of the community Church of the Savior in Washington DC noted over 60 years of ministry, that no groups that came together around a non-missional purpose (eg prayer,worship,study,etc.) ever ended up becoming missional. It was only those groups that set out to be missional (while embracing prayer, worship, study etc., in the process) that actually did mission.
How do we become missional?
Church starts on the Monday morning, the Sunday morning session is like getting the tank filled to empower us and equip us to be God’s embassadors for the week.
We are not alone. Keep your close Christian friends up to speed, so that they can pray. Act in small teams if possible and remember that the Holy Spirit is always beside us to guide us and encourage us. We are God`s eyes, ears, mouth and hands in many situations.
‘Slow down’ was the good advice passed on to me by CVM when I started our informal men’s group 9 years ago.’
‘Relax with God and listen to God,’ is another suggestion I have followed. Finally watch where the Holy Spirit is working and join in with him.
God bless you next Monday morning!