I knew a plumber who worked on his own. He was a one-guy company. But he hired an answering service to answer his calls and say something like, “Thank you for calling Big Deal Plumbers. How may I direct your call?” No matter what the person would say, the call always went to the same place – the plumber. He wanted to look bigger than he was.
My son was telling me about a church he attended. The auditorium had about 200 people in it and the image of the speaker was projected larger than life on each side of the stage. He said it was kind of weird. The service had all the effects and gadgets of a large conference but there were only a couple hundred people there.
I’ve seen a few churches advertise their “campuses” like they are Northpoint or Newspring or something. Is the label “campus” really necessary when we’re talking about just another location where a community is meeting? Is a house church a campus? How about a grange hall? Maybe the church I help pastor now really has fifteen or so campuses. Nah.
Isn’t this just more of the numbers game that churches have been playing for almost as long as there have been churches? Why do we have a compulsion to pretend we’re something big? What’s wrong with a missional community of 15 or 30?
It’s pretty easy to pretend today. Websites make us look good. Projectors are cheap. Podcasts get our messages out to the world. But isn’t it just pride that makes us what to pretend we’re a big deal, mega-ministry? I doubt that God is any more impressed by the mega-ministry than He is the home group.
Big crowds aren’t bad. Campuses are great. Websites are essential. But if our goal is to have the biggest ministry, we’re missing the point entirely. Our goal has to be to reach people and introduce rescue through Christ. It’s about making followers of Jesus, not marketing.
Truth is important. It’s not about how big a deal we try to be.