We are a nation in love with big things. We are told to dream big, live large, score high, rack up an impressive following, and measure success in ever-rising numbers. Measuring is key to success—we need proof and we need it often. Trusting in God is all well and good, but that will hardly help us raise the money we need for our Big Screen lives.
The church was never meant to be in the business of “big”; still, we can’t seem to escape its perpetual temptation. Where once our love of scale took the form of Cathedrals grand enough to offer a foretaste of heaven, today, we covet leaders with big visions for growing the church and innovative programs to implement them. (If there’s a pastor search document in America that reads: “We’re looking for someone to shrink the church,” I’d like to see it). As the Church is just a bunch of folks as susceptible to the love of “big” as the culture has proved to be, she’s fallen prey to the 21st-Century American telos: big = best.