Does Congregational Size Matter?

I have heard a lot of discussion in my 20 years of full time ministry around the preferences we have for the size church that we attend. Some like the feel of the smaller church with the ability to know most peoples names and to have deep meaningful relationships. Other prefer the larger setting where there is a buzz and vibrancy that only a large gathering can bring. For me, I like both, but can you really do that? I think you can and then some.

Our experiences in groups of people would suggest that we act and have different experiences in different size groups. Just as Jesus had Peter, James and John, so to we have a few close friends that we are able to really be ourselves, or at least we should have. We tend to invest heavily in these peoples lives. We call this intimate space.

Then, just as Jesus had the twelve, so to we have slightly larger groups we identify with. This is a great size group to grow, learn and be held accountable in. If you have experienced a great home-group then this was the size that allowed you to be real with people that really cared about you. I have been experimenting with Mike Breen’s Discipleship model (building a discipling culture) over the last 18 months and would have to say this size group allows the space, invitation and challenge for people to grow in their relationship with God. This is personal space.

Then we go to the size that most of us have experienced in a small church, about 20 to 70 people. Jesus had the 72, and this size is called Social Space. I have fond memories of extended family parties at my uncles place where we would all come together and just enjoy each others company, get introduced to the new boyfriend or girlfriend, and remember those who were not with us any more. Social space has a way of creating an environment where people can drop their guard with another person and talk about issues that are important to them. This size space is the best size to see people come to know Jesus, to pray for healing, to be made aware of needs as has been our experience with Youth Group and Wanderers. If we are to be strategic in seeing people come to Christ we need to create Organised Social Space where this social environment can happen.

The last is Public Space, this is what Jesus experienced in the crowds, the 4000 and 5000, its the response after Peter preaches in Acts 3 and 4. Public space is great to celebrate the great things that God is doing with other believers. It also encourages us and helps us to understand that we are not alone, and that God is at work in other peoples lives as well. There is something special in a place where there are lots of believers worshiping God.

I think a healthy Church has all four of these spaces. I also think it is strategic to look at the size groups we have and know what they can and cannot achieve in the light of our Vision and way ahead. One of the areas we a lacking in is social space, and this space is the best space to see people come into the kingdom. We will be starting up some new initiatives in this area in coming months so can I encourage you to explore what part God may have for you in this space.

Bless ya heaps,

Dave.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Whats our role in a Movement of God?

I have heard a lot of Pastors talking about how God is moving at the moment in worship services or through healing or salvation’s.  It is exciting to hear about this but also to be a part of it. When you hear of the same experience happening across a number of churches, regardless of denomination then we had better take note.

Our default position is usually to look at what we are doing and say that it must be because of our prayer or faithfulness or mission activity or obedience that God is moving. And while these things are important, they in and of themselves are just the normal expression of a godly life. Taken to the logical conclusion we can think that it is our effort that makes these things happen. This becomes a works mentality if we are not careful.

Rather than think this way I have been challenged by God to believe that he is the author and director of any movement that he wants to do in His Kingdom. He asks us to pray, to be obedient etc not to make these things happen, but rather so that we can keep up and be a part of what he is doing. Rather than trying to control the work of God we are keeping up with him so that he can use us for the plans he has for the expansion of his kingdom.

Its important to be obedient to what the Father is asking of us, but it is also important to get the correct perspective on the part we play in his Kingdom. We are partners with him, he however is the initiator and author of all the good things that happen in the Kingdom of God.

Bless ya heaps,

Dave Paroz

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Can I be Humble?

I’ve heard many definitions of humility. Some say that if you  think you have it you don’t. But humility is not as simple as denying achievements. Some thirteen years ago I heard Rod Denton, then pastor of Clovercrest Baptist Church in Adelaide make the comment that “humility attracts the presence of God.” So if this is true, which I believe it is, we need to know what humility is and  learn how to be humble by seeking out what a humble lifestyle looks like rather than avoiding the issue altogether.

In his book “Humilitas” John Dickson says “Humility is the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself” (p24). So it is possible to identify what humility looks like in others and even in ourselves, and to be comfortable with being a humble person.

When we look at Jesus we see that he was humble in so many ways. He always gave his power and influence for the benefit of the people God was trying to reach. He always gave glory to his father in heaven & was never drawing attention to himself deliberately. He was able to do this because his identity was firmly founded in the Father and not in what he did for others. This is the essence of the Christian life. We are not in the behavior modification business, we are in fact in the identity recovery business. Identity will change behavior, but behavior will not give you identity.

When we are comfortable with our identity we are able to use what gifts and abilities and influence we have for the benefit of others joyfully.  Then when we are thanked to be comfortable to give the glory to God in all we do. Our response when thanked is to say “thank you”. That’s all we need.  Then our sense of thankfulness to the Father increases as we see him working through us for the benefit of others.

I pray you find what it means to live the humble life God has for you.

Blessings

Ps. Dave.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Resonate

On Sunday the 29th of March we are joining Bayside Church at Sandgate Primary School hall at 6pm for a prayer, praise and worship event. The goal is to declare Gods power and sovereignty over the Sandgate area and surrounds as we focus upon the Cross of Jesus heading towards Easter.

Resonate Title Screen Mk2 - Mar 2015

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

About Pastor Dave Paroz

 

PastorDaveParozPastorsPagePastor Dave as Senior Pastor is responsible for the pastoral team with an emphasis on leadership development. He oversees vision direction and ministries, as well as connecting with the community through Kid’s Hope and Chaplaincy. He lives in the local area with his wife and 3 children. He enjoys motorbike riding and tinkering with cars as well as playing the guitar.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather