Mark 1:35-39 is the passage this is based on.
Imagine for a moment that ten new people start coming to your church after an outreach activity. Wow! And they start telling their friends about Jesus and they start coming along too. Yay! And before we know it there is not enough room in the church for everyone who wants to be here on a Sunday. woohoo!
So we put on two services in the morning. It means that we have to have twice the number of people to do the teas and coffees, twice the number of musicians and on the sound desk. We have to run twice the number of children’s activities. And the preachers have to double up on what they do too. We all get a lot busier because of this growth but we’re delighted to do it because people are coming to church.
And we decide that we will have do a new outreach activity every month, so a committee is formed to make sure that there are lots of good ideas and activities each month and lots of people are roped in to help. The people running the Saturday stall no longer have time to attend house group in the week because they’re too busy planning and preparing but that’s okay because the activities are so popular.
It all seems wonderful, exciting, and something we would love to happen. But in the midst of it we may find that we are falling into the temptation to which Jesus’ disciples had succumbed – confusing popularity with God’s purposes. Just because something is popular does not automatically mean it’s what God wants.
And we only discover that by spending quality time with him in prayer. Do less, be more
Isn’t it fascinating that when the disciples found him and told him how everyone was looking for him Jesus didn’t join in their excitement. In fact he said something that would have shocked them: “let’s go somewhere else…”
He was going to leave the crowds in Capernaum andt ravel around Galilee. Why did he decide this? I think it came to him in his prayer time with his Father. He realised he was not called to be popular, but to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God and to be good news to the people who needed him. He was focused or refocused on what God wanted him to do.
For churches there is always a temptation to do more.If we had more volunteers we could run this activity… if we had more space we could do that…
But what do you think God is more interested in – churches running more and more popular activities or Jesus’ followers growing deeper in their relationship with him? Do less, be more.
Why do you think God designed the rhythm of life to include a day of restoration and recreation? It was not primarily to give us a day off, but to give us time and space to focus our attention on him. Yet in the heart of restoration is the word ‘rest’ and in the heart of the word‘recreation’ is the word ‘creation’.
Be blessed, be a blessing