Let me start with a quote (as far as I am aware it is one of the few original ones I came up, but I am sure I have been inlfuenced from somewhere else / borrowed it or simply knicked it…)
The future is the multiplicity of the small and the richness of diversity.
The next big thing that God is doing… this year is the year of the breakthrough… or such pronouncements might just take place, but I suggest if it does we will either be disappointed or we will be very much settling for second-(or third-…) best. I do not think we should be looking for the next big thing, and indeed I do not think God wants to give us anything that might be labelled the new big thing.
The early church grew at a rate of 10% per decade. Not exactly too dramatic. Numbers never were the focus. Paul writing to the church in Corinth some 8 or so years after it had started never prayed that their numbers would increase, simply that their faith would, and if that happened they would no longer need his input. It seemed he thought that a church that could meet in one home in the city (want to estimate the numbers?) was enough to change city of some 250,000 people that was anything but a well-behaved city. (To act as a Corinthian was an insult that could be used to chastise someone for their behaviour.)
We want numbers for after all numbers have a voice all of their own. True but what kind of voice?
I have had the privilege these past few days of connecting cyber space wise with people who have a vision to see a billion people impacted in the next 10 years, to change culture through the presence of Jesus… from the bottom up. So encouraging cos like everyone else I am in touch with so few people. Maybe there is something going on that is at a deep bottom up, hidden level that could change the world we live in. So in spite of my annoyance at certain things that seem to shift in the wrong direction I need to make sure I invest more into what can rise than what needs to be restricted – and both are essential consequences of salt being salt.
Maybe though the biggest hindrance to what now needs to arise is that incessant desire for the big and powerful that can bring everything in its path to submission.
The multiplicity of the small – and so much of it will be ever so small. And the richness of diversity for surely there should be some kind of Scripture that suggests that the body is anything but uniform, that the eye cannot say…
I have been privileged to make some of the connections I have, but more importantly I need to have a peek at what little I have to contribute and get on with that. Maybe that is what God is asking of me. Could just be that old question of ‘what do you have in your hand’, ‘what do you have in your house’.