Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tiny Church

The devil used a frumpy lil' teen girl to tell me how irrelevant I am.

She walked into the sanctuary last night and said to the girl who invited her to an overnight teen activity, in earshot if the whole group, "Your church is so tiny! It's so....tiny!"

Boom, the devil hit me where it hurts the most, in my pride, in my need for relevance, in my drive for validation. "See, punk, you are nothing, a big fat zero with the middle knocked out. Your entire life, the complete body of your life's work is boiled down to the truth and honesty of a pubescent, pony-tailed kid. You're a loser, and the sum total of your existence amounts to 'it's so tiny!'"

Well, she was right. I am a mighty small cog, relegated to a flyover spot, laboring  amongst the predominant religions of Luther and Constantine. Trying to carve a work for God out of the granite of good works. And honestly, it hurts to be surmised as miniscule, reduced in one careless but demonically inspired exclamation to "tiny."

I wish I could find comfort in platitudes such as big things come in small packages. I don't have to "not despise the days of small things," I am living them. And I hate to be reminded, but the devil knows those malicious whispers of half truths cripple me most.

I do take umbrage in the realization that this tiny cog serves a purpose. With the viscosity of the Holy Ghost, this cog helps move the mighty engine of an institution that will never suffer the spoils of victory to be gained by the gates of hell.

Our tiny edifice houses holy, praiseful, perpetually revived saints passionately bent on winning the world through personal soul-winning and world-wide missions efforts.

I hate to get into a "mine's bigger than yours" contest with this teeny bopper, but I wonder how many souls are won at her cathedral? How many services result in a full altar with people committing to what they just experienced? What percentage of her fellow parishioners give a large portion of their time, talent and tithe to God? How many of their missionaries win how many souls, planting how many churches?

Yes, young lady, your denomination cuts a wide swath 'round these parts, but what good is it to send people to hell with the phrase invented here falling from their lips, "No thank you, I have my own religion."?

And let me remind you, lord of the flies, you gut punched me again with your discouraging taunts but I confidently remind you that strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

So, I will stand tomorrow with my average sized church in our tiny building and render worship to our all-time, undefeated, undisputed God of glory. I read the back of the Book and we win!
Meanwhile, your people will be snoozing in their temples of ritual as uninspired clerics drone their homilies, rehash their lifeless liturgies, sprinkle their babies and conduct their useless rituals.

But I put you on notice, we are coming after some of those religious adherents, we are going to be there when their religion fails and we will introduce them to our great Savior, see their lives transformed, and welcome them into our tiny church.