Derwin Gray calls leaders to stop bashing other forms or versions of the church.
“The megachurch is the best!”
“No! The house/organic church is the best!”
“No way, Bro! The hipster church is the best!”
“The traditional church was good for the Apostle Paul; therefore, it is still the best!”
We slam the megachurch, saying it’s “too corporate and shallow.”
We slam the house church/organic church as just “a bunch of bitter and disgruntled people who were burned in a megachurch, so that now they just want to meet together with a ‘four and no more’ mentality.”
We slam the hipster church as too “technologically driven and entertainment-based, with music so loud it will bruise your internal organs.”
And we slam the traditional church as “dead and irrelevant.”
Enough already! STOP IT!
Last time I checked, the New Testament doesn’t say anything about megachurch, house church, organic church, hipster church or traditional church.
The New Testament simply speaks of Jesus’ ekklesia (church). Ekklesia comes from two words, ek, meaning “out,” and kaleo, meaning “to call.” The church literally means “the gathering of the called-out ones.”
The word ekklesia originally had more of a political aspect to it. Missiologists Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch, in their book ReJesus, on page 32, point out that in the Apostle Paul’s time, an ecclesia was a gathering of elders in a community.
In smaller villages and towns across Judea, local leaders gathered regularly to discuss and deliberate over a variety of social and political dilemmas facing the community. The ecclesia was a gathering of wise community leaders, brought together by their common vision for the shalom of the wider community. In essence, the ecclesia was a community within a community whose function was to add value to the place in which they lived (Frost & Hirsch, ReJesus, 32).
As Jesus’ “called-out ones,” we must embrace and see ourselves as sent by Jesus as missionaries into the villages of which we are a part, to add value, to bring wisdom, to cultivate a better village through incarnating the Gospel (Frost & Hirsch, ReJesus, 32). Our lives, through abiding in Christ and the Spirit’s power, are an invitation to those not yet in the ekklesia, to join us as they see us bringing God’s Kingdom into our sphere of influence.
Essentially, the ekklesia is a community of Jesus Christ lookalikes (disciples) that infiltrate every facet of society, doing good and infecting non-carriers of grace with grace. At the core of God’s rescue and healing mission on planet Earth is his community called the church.
Size Doesn’t Matter! And Neither Does the Model!
As God’s missionary movement, each local church must contextualize to fit the lost people within the community God has assigned them to reach and bless.
The size or model of the local church is not the issue. A local church can be called a megachurch, organic church, house church, hipster church or traditional church, and God can use these diverse models greatly for his glory.