Monday, April 03, 2006

Quantity X Quality...

Quantity versus Quality... Its a question I already know the answer to :: Quality.

Mine is not the wide busy path - I have chosen the narrow, lonely path and I am happy. I am surrounded by love and am grateful for that! Love from my wife and my we'ans, my family and special friends who should be family, and some great people who it is a honour to call "friend".

So why then do I feel disappointed tonight after the once-a-month after hours contemporary worship event? I will always have 25 people there for the right reasons than 250 there for the wrong ones. It was also brilliant to see 3 of the folk from the Alpha course join us and even bring someone new. This is extremely encouraging and I am grateful.

But I still feel low.

My feelings come from a cultural need for numbers... In essence, numbers equal strength and viability. How many folk do Glasgow Rangers get at a home game? Compare that to my team, Motherwell, or even Hamilton Accies... Numbers equates to success.

But this cultural need is failing :: For me. its all about "limited edition" runs and niches... and I am not alone!

Tonight the majority of my church walked out on... and away from... the after hours event. The very people we are aiming for just... left. Even people I consider dear friends didn't stay... didn't feel it important enough to give of their time. After all, they had sacrificed all of 3... maybe 4 hours that day. We feel the need to have a new church building and yet have no desire to fill it!

Why do I bother? And then that's when I realise that its not about those who weren't there - its about those who were. The quality of expression in the 25 who were there was wonderful. Real joy and excitement... and willing participation. Its not often you see people willing to be there and willing to be involved.
And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there.
Matthew 18:20 (The Message)

Am I disappointed? Not anymore... Why? Because as this verse states :: its not about numbers...and I dare say, its not about those who, it seems to me, couldn't care less. We are creating a community of people who want to be together to worship God... and that's all that's needed.

I am glad I was involved tonight... Glad I gave up part of my holiday to be there because I am part of something special. I could be like everyone else but I choose to be different...even in my church!

I feel like I have been part of planting a community of faith within my church and that feels good!

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4 comments:

olly said...

Thomas, I admit I felt a bit disappointed too tonight for basically the same reasons, but yeah it is about quality and not quantity. It's one of those things that really aggrivates you, the fact that some just don't get it,...they don't seem to have that thirst or passion.

I truly believe that God can do anything. With small numbers but sincere hearts God can do great and wonderful things. Let's always try to put God first and keep praying for those who aren't quite there yet! Love you. Olwyn

Bobby said...

Hi Guys
Don't get too dissapointed, remember our vision to witness to others through music, words and media.
We witnessed to people last night who wanted to be there not to support us, but because they wanted to be there in Gods presence, didn't you notice how much fun the few who were there were having, without SNAC those people would not have had that experience.
The word was spread and that is all we ask, we had new faces at SNAC last night, that can't be bad.
If people chose to leave before the service that is their choice, nothing we do will change that, if we can't encourage our own people to join us then we have to perhaps witness in other places, who do want to be there, remember the word "outeach" then lets REACH OUT.
Lets take this dissapointment and turn it into something great, BLOC will follow your witness as far as you and the Lord can take us, we can only spread the word to those who want to hear it.
Right there with you both
Bobby.

mathaionios said...

Hi Thomas,
I had the H3O youth band and two new converts out to a church 'youth meeting' on Saturday night there, and it nearly never happened. There were four kids there and a handful of adults. However one of the new converts was giving his testimony. He was so encouraged afterwards as it was his first time. I got a ..wow.. out of that alone. We then came home via the chippy and sat and talked God-stuff till almost midnight. It was small but in another ay it was huge.

We all just need to keep going, hard as it is at times. I would have been gutted for the guys if Saturday had not taken place - but it did.

I know what you mean about numbers. It's the way things are these days. Crowds attract crowds. We have been in this positoin with H3O. However, it's a quality event - even for small numbers.

In HIS strength,

Stevie

Matthew Bennett said...

Thomas,

Take the iceberg - we all look to it and the small mass above the water and foirget the great awesome mass beneath - the Spirit waits and will break through in such power that the rest of the great mass below will emerge. Sometimes it's liek breaking through the great chunks that encase our hearts and minds, barriers to that stuff the Spirit is able to work on...but watch and wait...I know how you feel and so does God...you gave him your best....that matters...but the best days are yet to be....the Spirit will break those other masses (hearts), will melt, and emerge as something only God has in store for his people....the chipping away has started by the part you and othes played....the thawing will take place....God bless the ministry of all who worshipped and ministered for / to God....

Remember....the truth shall set the hearts of the people free....John 4:21-24.

Blessings, Matthew.

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