Some of my best inspiration comes to me when I am in the car. There is no respectable pad of paper, not even a discarded bulletin on which I can write between the choir practice announcement and the reminder of the 55+ bingo party, so I scratch something on the back of a deposit slip or gas receipt. One subject I thought about stemmed from yesterday’s disorganized laundry day, a new reality show: "Digging for Underwear While Hubby is Starting the Car ‘Cause We’re Late" or how about this one? "Coffee Pot Graveyard, subtitled Will Anyone Buy a Carafe at a Yard Sale?"
I get to the computer and something else comes out of the keyboard.
In a recent phone conversation talking about Small Groups, I mentioned The Jesus People Movement of the late 60’s, early ’70s. "Who?" Read the 3 articles about its beginnings as well as its progress and current influence among us today. Being a baby boomer, having been in Minneapolis during 1969 through 1972 and having been in the middle of a house church that exploded into a mega church downtown Minneapolis in 1971, I was stunned that knowledge of such a crazy ball of fire revival was now forgotten. It was comparable to the Brownsville Revival about 9 or 10 years ago. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard much chatter about that one in a while. I guess I’ve answered my own question. Were they just a pentecostal thing and therefore not noted seriously by the mainline?
Now there is a growing Small Group movement. It’s softer, lower key, not a tidal wave among a particular group, but a new
phyn pha phenomenon (I used to be the dictionary, now I need it!) in all denominations and growing in a quiet, strong way–not a "flash in the pan", a term my mother used to describe Elvis Presley. Boy, was she wrong.
I don’t diminish the Small Group growth in any way nor do I disrespect the powerful impact and thousands of saved souls from the two predominantly pentecostal movements mentioned. Different strokes, y’know? The Small Group of today was originally called the Cell Group about 8 years ago in that when attendance in each group reached 14, it was time to multiply like a cell into two groups, and so on. Since 9/11 the word "Cell" is understandably gone.
I love the analogy from today’s sermon. The Giant Redwoods trunks are massive, their height is incredible, but their root systems are shallow. One would think the roots would reach downward in direct proportion to their height, but instead they grow laterally and intertwine with each other’s root systems so that one cannot be easily discerned from another’s. They literally hold each other up, bonded, much like Christians reaching out to each other, linking arms, and bearing one another’s burdens as in Galations 6:2.
I think the current analogy for the Small Group would be that it is like a "grass roots" movement that will grow to become increasingly more like the redwoods, the holy, spotless bride that will be excitedly watching for Jesus’ return. In the Small Group of a dozen or less, you can learn to trust each other with your deepest hurts and needs, feel free to participate in the study of scripture and ask questions, not have to worry about any structure except what the group decides on. You can fellowship, study, pray, and am I the only one who sees a reflection of the early church that met in caves? Get a copy of Mega Shift from my book list.
It’s these groups that will make the long haul, strengthening the believer into boldness when a world government makes public worship illegal and/or regulates religion into something unrecognizable to the true believer in Christ. And when this comes to pass….
There will be an explosive revival of glorious proportions dwarfing the "teasers" we’ve seen in the last 100 plus years, a revival that will rock the socks off unbelievers world wide. The whole world won’t be saved but those who ultimately reject Yeshua Messiah at that point will have a crystal clear understanding of exactly Who they are rejecting.
It’s rumbling oh, so softly in today’s homes around the world, in the Small Groups.