As most of you know by now, Melanie and I are going to be planting a new church in our area soon. In preparation for that, we have been working on and praying through our purpose, plan, and principles. Though we were very sure that organic faith was the mission to which God has called us, implementing that is definitely easier said than done. So, I sent out some emails and asked some people who have been down the road we're beginning to traverse for some wisdom and guidance. What I got back was both comforting and condemning at the same time. Let me share it with you.
I have been plagued with logistics questions about our new church. What are we going to do about this... how will we address that... so on and so forth. It really bothered me, because, I felt that if I was supposed to be the pastor of this church, surely I should be able to answer simple questions about its operation. So, in my frustration, I reached out to a new friend and bounced some of my questions to him. The response I got back was simple. The questions I was asking were good one, but they weren't the right questions to be asking first off. Faith, like life, grows from the micro to the macro, not the other way around. Put a different way, grow disciples and you will grow a church... grow a church and you may not necessarily grow disciples. My heart was in the right place, but my focus was not. This was very comforting to me, because I didn't feel as though I had to know it all before I began, but i didn't know how to answer some of the questions that I had been asked.
I think this lesson is applicable to all of us. (not just the crazy one's that want to start churches) I believe we should all take a step back and stop focusing on the Macro elements of our life. Because let's face it, they're big. And sometimes, I think we get discouraged when we look at our life and its problems and they are too big for us to deal with. Instead, we need to readdress our focus to the micro elements. How can Jesus be Lord of your life, if he can't even be Lord over your words, thoughts, actions, motivations, etc.
I did say earlier that this response was both comforting and condemning. The condemning part of this advice for me was not in the advice itself, but in the person who first told me. As thankful as I was to my friend for his wise words of wisdom, the overwhelming sound that resounded in my ears after reading them and talking to my wife, was that this was exactly what she had been trying to tell me for the past two weeks! And I wasn't hearing it! This was both humbling and exciting. I am humbled by the realization that it took a stranger to tell me what my wife had been telling me all long... and it is exciting to know that God is moving not just in my life, but in my wife and our friends as well.
I've said all of this to illustrate two points:
(a) Faith is grown from micro to macro. Focus on the little things.
(b) We all have a lot to learn from one another, and if you think you are right and won't listen to your friends and family, you will get a rude awakening one day about how wrong you really are.