The Problem: ”Why do we sit here until we die?”
As you are aware, citizens, communities, cites and countries are underachieving. Societal problems are trending upward because of a meltdown in the values and institutions that make a community or city great. The church is not even in the top seven influencers in United States culture. The public relations image of the church is the second lowest of all entities in the United States.
While some churches are growing on the inside of the walls, the church is losing the culture outside of the walls. Jesus is interested in changing culture, not just getting bodies in chairs. Abandoning the culture allows the world to determine the culture. Truth: There will be no transformation without incarnation. Things change from the inside out, not the outside in.
It’s time for a kingdom solution. We need to take back what rightfully God’s. The kingdom takes ground, the church establishes the ground after it’s taken. The kingdom takes the mountain, the church holds the mountain after its taken, building a city set on a hill which establishes the victory. A church is real and tangible evidence that God’s kingdom has come and His will has been done.
However, much of the church in its present ‘bigger the better, size equals impact, sage on the stage form’ is so fat that it is dying under its own weight. It’s not agile. It struggles with mission. It takes selfies. The city is not set on the hill, it’s over the hill. (Willow Creek discovery).
A Solution: MicroChurches- A Kingdom Principle in a Practical Way. There’s nothing so powerful and idea and people whose time has come.
Whatever you want to call them…MicroChurches…Mutual Collaborations…Strategic Alliances…Apostolic Bands on the Run…Spiritual or Practical Task Forces…Gideon’s 300…Raiders of the Lost Mountains…Ascending Companions…Churches within a Church…Missional small groups of mature Christians with the same calling and assignment…X Factors and Difference Makers…historically they have been effective in Culture Influencing and City Changing.
Margaret Mead says: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’
MicroChurches are High Relationship/High Task groups or movements that come together for a reason and a season. They are mutual collaborations or strategic alliances that are corporate yet without loss of individual identity. It’s where two or three…agree. They find or see a need and meet it. They are meaningful specifics rather than working generalities. They thrive on output that has outcome. They are Christians and God is in their midst. They go small in order to go big. They are purpose driven entrepreneurs.
They are generally agile, strategic (purpose driven), relational, resourceful, committed, efficient, timely, flexible, catalytic, think outside of the box, crisp, courageous, and effective. Their teams membership is based upon either a common interest, common concern, and essential gifting to be effective in bringing in that which is lacking, wanting or in need of building up…or tearing down. Their leadership style is generally by influence, not authority.
The Genius of Genesis…The Origin of MicroChurches
1. The Trinity…Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“…I came to make You known.” John 17:26. They were three yet One. They were so much in unity that you couldn’t tell where One started and the Other ended. A MicroChurch is made in the image of God.
2. Adam, Eve, and God…The First MicroChurch on Earth.
God had a mission. The earth was to be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord just like the waters cover the sea. Hab. 2:14. How was God going to do that? With a MicroChurch. Remember, two or three that agree and come into unity so something can be accomplished.
Adam and Eve were gifted and assigned the role of governance to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Psalm 8 tells where God gave them authority and power to fulfill His mission. God gave the mission; Adam and Eve were the government to get the mission done.
The kingdom principle is agreement (there has to be two or three to agree), then unity (the two become one) then abundance (the one become many…children). Agreement, unity, and abundance. The two become one, the one become many, the many do work, fill and subdue. Government is a servant…to what or who? The mission or vision.
Note…Lucifer…the ‘independent charismatic’ talked them into being ‘independent charismatics’ like himself rather than God kingdom plan of being ‘interdependent apostolic.’ He promised then wisdom but gave them knowledge. Jesus, with government on His shoulders, came back as the last Adam and fulfilled God’s vision with His ‘Eve’ (church)…if two or three can agree.
The lesson we learn from this is independent charismatics attract those who are independent and charismatic. ‘Interdependent Apostolics’ attract those who are independent and apostolic.
3. The MicroChurch that Changed the World. Acts 16:9-16.
Notice this profound spiritual and seven mountain principle:
1. The Mission…
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” vs. 9
The mission/vision gave Paul his roadmap…Find a need and meet it.
2. The Men…
“And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” vs. 10
Notice the pronouns…It moved from a ‘he’ to a ‘we’ to an ‘us’ to a ‘them!’ That is a MicroChurch! Teamwork makes the dream work.
3. The Money…
“And a certain woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshipper of God was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the thing spoken by Paul.” vs. 14
Provision came from a God fearing citizen involved in commerce living in a Roman community. That’s the business mountain.
The Mission, the Microchurch and the Money… “And all the pieces had come together.” Acts 16:10 Message Bible.
4. ‘Nimrodian’ Groupthink and the Power of Agreement…Genesis 11
The humanists know this principle too. They know math. 1 x 1 = 1. Many times, the children of darkness are more shrewd in relation to dealing with their own kind than the children of light.
Nimrod’s project moved from a ‘he’ to a ‘we’ to an ‘us’ to a ‘them’ with an independent and charismatic leader that went before God. Look at the culture around you…truth is truth. The counter cultural movement started as a small group of highly committed people. Now they are in leadership in all of the seven mountains. When two or three agree…stuff happens. Nimrod, along with his team, built the first tell-a-vision station, a tower that broadcasted day and night… “a monument to our greatness.” Nimrod was large and in charge…for a season.
Elohim was impressed and checked it out. Then Elohim destroyed the tower but not without making a powerful observation about a group of people committed to a cause with a common destiny and vision who spoke the same language of agreement… “Nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.” Well, that’s almost true. Why? There are two questions that every organization, every group, every business, every government, every marriage, every place where two or more are gathered together, needs to answer to God.
Will you come together?
If so, who will get the glory?
Nimrod and his group got the first question right but the second question wrong! So will the humanists. It doesn’t fulfil God’s mission of filling the earth with God’s glory.
Go Small In Order to Go Big!
80% of all businesses are sole proprietorships, 10% are partnerships, and 10% are corporations. However, 90% of all sales and profit are made up by 10% of the businesses, corporations.
“Clearly, small groups of people led by innovative leaders and managers make up the strength, and hope of this nation. With the business world changing so rapidly and so drastically, it seems to me that we need creative and innovative role models now more than ever before.
I am searching for people who are willing to plant the fields that lead to the harvest and who recognize that the workplace, where most of us spend the greater part of our lives, is indeed very holy and fertile ground.” – Laurie Beth Jones
The Story of M.A.D.D: A MicroChurch in Action.
“This story brings to mind Candy Leitner, the woman who started the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD. This woman had complained to legislators that a convicted drunk driver with a prior history of DUI’s killed her teenage daughter and walked away unscathed. Who was going to listen to a weeping mother? Unfortunately, not too many. Candy Leitner did not just take her grief home and cover it up. She organized a group of mothers called MADD and set the media fields on fire. She held press conferences. She passed out red ribbons. She formed support groups. She gathered statistics. She is an example of leadership in this country – an example of what one person can do. Who do you think really changed drunk driving laws in this country? A group of congressmen and senators sitting around a bar at happy hour in Washington? No. One woman, and her team, who decided to get MADD. She did not start a group called NICE: (Nurturers Influencing Congress Easily) to get things done.” – Laurie Beth Jones
Think of it: MicroChurches Did Big Things, Created Shift and Accomplished Incredible Feats in the Bible.
- Jesus…He preached to the 5000, He taught the 70, He coached the 12 and He mentored the 3. Who was it that you remember of these groups? Who accomplished the most?
- Israel… was a group of tribes or MicroChurches which together formed a nation. Each tribe had a unique calling and make up yet they were brothers. They were smaller churches within a big church….some tribes were small, other tribes were big….but all equally necessary.
- Gideon…and 10 men pulled down Baal and stopped idolatry in a nation. Gideon reduced the uncommitted army to a committed MicroChurch of 300 and won a war.
- Noah…populated the whole earth again with his family, a MicroChurch of 8.
- Deborah and Barack…demonstrated the power of the prophetic and apostolic working together won a spiritual and natural war….with a Microchurch.
- Ezra, Zerubbabel, Haggai and Nehemiah rebuilt and architected God’s temple and God’s city.
- Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego brought the King of the biggest nation in the world to his knees, bringing him and Babylon to God and then prospered in Babylon.
- David and 400 distressed, distraught and discouraged men became to greatest army of their time. It was a MicroChurch.
- Moses, Aaron, Hur and Joshua, along with some elders, came together revealed to us one of the greatest patterns of spiritual warfare to this day. They were a MicroChurch.
- David and 400 other men pursued, overtake and recovered all of one of the greatest robberies of all time. They were a MicroChurch.
- David and his team became Raiders of the Lost Ark and recovered the ark from people who didn’t care about the ark. They were are MicroChurch.
- Paul, Peter, John, Timothy, Silas and Barnabus….Apostlic ‘Bands on the Run’ set Asia and Europe on fire with the gospel. They were a MicroChurch.
- The churches in cities at that time were generally smaller churches or homes. Acts 20:20.
Do I need to mention Joseph and Judah, Joshua and the two spies, Peter and Paul, Paul and Timothy, Pricilla and Aquila, the School of Tyrannus, the 120 in the upper room or the four ‘roof rats’ who dug a hole in the roof and changed a paralyzed man’s life? When God wanted something done, He envisioned, empowered, united, gifted, and enabled a small group of the people of God and gave them an assignment.
How MicroChurches Operate: The Principle of Mutual Collaborations and Strategic Alliances.
1. They are generally for a reason and a season.
Once the task is done, they are generally done. Such a time as this and such a time as that.
2. They are not in competition with traditional churches.
They work in cooperation with local churches and mega churches. They complete one another, not compete with one another.
3. MicroChurches can be groups of people united around a cause in the same church or other churches.
Those are significant brothers. There are also mutual collaborations or supporting casts with other people or leaders in the 7 mountains who can be churched or unchurched. These are called strategic alliances or mutual collaborations. Those are called significant others. Significant others are a great way to bring Christian values and wisdom into a culture.
4. High Relationship/High Task.
This could be for a church related task (cell groups) or a community related task. The Microchurches we are proposing will be for the community in the community or mountains of society. If they can’t see us, they won’t be us.
5. They Find a Need and Meet It …especially outside of the traditional church walls.
Social opportunity is spiritual opportunity resulting in favor with God and man.
6. MicroChurches are agents of reformation.
They bring back into alignment something that has been broken. Times of reformation are inevitable when we have a past or present that continually takes us off the correct path.
7. MicroChurches are aware of gifting in people and leaders that will compliment others in getting the desired outcome.
Many times they choose people in areas they need gifting for but they all have a common sense or calling or assignment. Diverse yet united.
8. MicroChurches are invisible to controlling eyes.
By nature, many MicroChurches operate by stealth like the spies in the Promised Land. They are mostly invisible unless visibility helps them to accomplish the task.
9. Microchurches don’t have to meet at churches.
They can be at Denny’s, the library, Starbucks, on a camping trip, in the state capital, anywhere. Where two or three gather together. Function is more important than form.
10. MicroChurches are not Number-Driven unless it advances the cause.
When David got into counting numbers (size equals impact) and the result was pestilence.
11. MicroChurches tend to be Joseph’s…’fruitful bows’ who go over the traditional church walls.
They are often misunderstood by traditional church people. They tend to be pioneers or homesteaders…they want to make a difference. Pioneers take the ground for a city, Homesteaders come in and start infrastructure. Early adapters start to maximize commerce and bring order. Mid adapters maximize what early adapters and homesteaders started. Late adapters live off welfare from the four preceding people.
12. MicroChurches understand the Power of Corporate Anointing and Agreement…even outside the church.
Cooperation and Corporate are connected. Individuals have a measure of grace. MicroChurches multiply individual anointing to corporate anointing, moving from a measure of grace to grace without measure. There the Lord commands the governmental, jurisdictional blessing…Life Forever! The Corporate Anointing is on the corporately purposed, gifted, and competent MicroChurches.
13. Leadership is generally by influence, not authority.
The four progressive leadership styles of history. 1. Chaos (every man does that which is right in his own eyes) 2. Then comes the Malevolent Dictator (Pharaoh). 3. Then comes the Benevolent Dictator (Moses). 4. Then comes Joshua (“choose on this day”…leadership by influence…collaboration). At this time in history, the civilized world is trending to the Joshua style of leadership.