At the In The Chute conference yesterday, Dave McDonald from Crossroads Christian Church made this reflection:
"If there was a fire, and the firefighters only managed to save 10% of the population, would that be considered a success?"
Of course not. 10% would be an abysmal failure. So why do we set such small goals (10% of our suburb/parish/city) for our mission to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ? Why don't we think, dream, plan and pray bigger? God's heart is clear:
God our Savior "wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim 2:4)
Shouldn't this be our heart also? Why have we settled for such small goals? Instead of expecting (planning and praying for) hundreds of newcomers to visit our churches each week, we're thankful for a handful. This makes me sound ungrateful - I'm not. I just think that we need to align our vision for our suburbs, parishes and cities with God's. We need to share his desire, not just in sentiment, but in practice and prayer, for all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. We need to give our churches this vision - a vision far beyond ourselves and our own weak efforts, a vision impossible on our own, but possible through God. For the glory of God, let's add a zero to the 10%. And on a related note - while an inadequate number for mission, 10% is an interesting number. In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell observes:
"Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society."