People have a variety of reactions to the idea that I am planting a new church using the house church model. “That’s different?!”, “Wow, that’s a lot of work.”, “Did you want to do that?”, “That’s exciting – but you’re crazy!”, and even “Where do I sign up?” The model isn’t so very different if we remember that the first 300 years or so of the Church happened in houses. Yes, I did want to do this even though it is a lot of work. But even wanting to do it, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t at one and the same time exciting – and crazy.
I have a test that I apply to ministry. I call it the parachute principle, which goes like this:
Does what I’m doing make me feel like I have just been dropped from an airplane at 30,000 feet without a parachute? If the answer is no, then my vision is too small.
I know, crazy right? Our God has never been in the business of thinking small, though. I mean, look around. When He created the world, He made not only a planet but also a solar system contained in the Milky Way galaxy which is one of an estimated 200 billion galaxies. Yes, billion with a ‘b’. He didn’t mess around with small stuff when He rescued the Israelites from Egypt. Parting the waters of the Red Sea was only a part of the drama. To make a way for restoration of our relationship with Him, His own Son, Jesus, willingly gave up all the benefits of being of God just to make sure that we would know how much He loves us (Philippians 2:5-11). So, who am I to think that small plans, plans I could easily do on my own, are good enough for the God of the ages? Thus, the parachute principle. When what I’m doing in ministry meets that principle, then I know I’m in the zone, so to speak. That way, relying not on myself but on God is the only way I have any hope of fulfilling His design for the part of the world in which He’s asked me to serve. So, is it crazy? Without a doubt. Do I feel like I’ve been dropped from the plane without the parachute? Absolutely. And that’s the way I like it. Now, to find all those folks who say, “Sign me up!”