As I walk down Main and Wall Streets I know that smaller budgets and profits are the thoughts of the day. Yet working in ministries it seems that smaller is better or at least more creative. For instance when we use our heads and not so much our wallets an authenticity, a creative fusion, and an intimacy take us to a place that becomes less “the best show in town” to the deeper meaning of message, music and mission. How does “Smalternative” play out on Church Street? Quite well thank you.
Digital Means Deeper
For instance you can store a whole library of theological and biblical thought on a cell phone, a thumb drive or a dashboard. You can start a coffee house at your church where small groups can gather during the week and where intimate worship can happen unplugged. Smaller can be better for all of us. Digital downloads, can be so much more interactive than a commentary on the Gospel of Luke.
Meetings and Mission
Church Coffee and Mission Coffee Roasters offer fresh roasted coffee by an expert coffee roaster and Barista, that a church could put a coffee house in any corner from a bus station to a resort in any town! A portable coffee house could be set up in any meeting room or convention center complete with a study, music and ideas that would help any community and also be a fundraiser for missions. There’s a lot of “smalternatives” that I don’t have room to put into practice here but I would love to hear your thoughts!
One lunch fed thousands
At Friendship Fellowship we know there are thousands of people who have intellectual disabilities. We reach a handful every week and we also know that there is a mentor match for each of those people. One Friendship Fellowship Church Plant is multiplying into two and maybe by next year three or four. I believe that by practicing to be a smalternative church we can reach thousands in the next five years. I also think that there are thousands of people who are being called to mentor each one of our friends with special needs. Jesus was looking at smalternatives when he needed to feed the multitudes. He found what he was looking for and in some kind of miracle one lunch fed thousands.
“Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat, to a deserted place apart. When the multitudes heard it, they followed him on foot from the cities.
Jesus went out, and he saw a great multitude. He had compassion on them, and healed their sick. When evening had come, his disciples came to him, saying, “This place is deserted, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food.”
But Jesus said to them, “They don’t need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
They told him, “We only have here five loaves and two fish.”
He said, “Bring them here to me.” He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass; and he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes. They all ate, and were filled. They took up twelve baskets full of that which remained left over from the broken pieces. Those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
Do you love that as much as I do? If our obedience is to serve people in need then we can do this without a lot of fanfare. A simple bag of lunch was used and there was enough for everybody-and more. Our idea at Friendship is simple, invite friends, caregivers and families to be part of the church and you have thousands doing life together. You make people aware of the care that is needed to spiritually care for individuals with disabilities than you have thousands who have joined the church, and started another church. There is a mathematical phenomenon called the “rule of 72.”
For instance, if you were to invest $100 with compounding interest at a rate of 9% per annum, the rule of 72 gives 72/9 = 8 years required for the investment to be worth $200; an exact calculation gives 8.0432 years.
There is also a Biblical Rule of 72.
1 After this the Lord appointed 72 others. He sent them out two by two ahead of him. They went to every town and place where he was about to go.
17 The 72 returned with joy. They said, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we speak in your name.”
I think Jesus came to show us that with a little “smalternative” thinking, we get big results. And since that seems to be the case Jesus associated with the people who are considered the “small people” in our culture.
If you would like to hear what “smalternative” thinking can do for your church or ministry, Church Coffee can help. With studies, relationship building and outreach options and really good coffee Bret Bixler and Richard Beattie would love to show you how message, music and mission can offer the right blend of intimacy that can change lives one cup at a time. Call 800.724.1839 or write Friendshipfellowship@juno.com.