At a global missions conference many years ago, I participated in a very interesting and enlightening question and answer session with a small group of pastors.
Other than the very first one, every question was directed at me rather than the other pastor that had also given a short presentation about the level of his church’s engagement in global missions.
I concentrated on answering as clearly and as succinctly as possible.
At the same time I was thinking through how to respond to what they were asking, I realized once again that a foundational but fundamentally flawed belief held among many pastors and church members needs to be confronted and deconstructed on a regular basis.
My summary of this widely accepted but obviously seldom thought about belief is this:
A local church can’t be meaningfully involved in what God is doing around the world until it grows to a certain size in attendance and resources.
When church leaders and members navigate in accordance with this unbiblical and culturally produced conviction, the God of the bible is dishonored, His character is brought in to question, and His people’s capacity for glorifying Him as fully as possible is diminished.
At the time I put together what I was going to share with this group of pastors about what all my small church was involved with globally, it wasn’t my primary intention to demolish this belief that they all held, but that’s what ended up happening.
It was clear to them from what I said about what I believe the bible teaches and what that belief moved me and our church to do that they needed to re-think a few very important things.
Some of them did that re-thinking instantly in response to what I shared and their questions moved from the “Why?” realm in to the “How”? sphere.