When working in Brazil, I used to say: “If you have people you do not need money, If you have money you do not need people.” I still believe in that, and I still believe that this does not apply only to Brazil, but everywhere. If you have money you do not need people, you buy everything. You buy advertisement, you buy the best place, you buy the best music, the best sound system, the best video projector, etc.
On the other hand, if you have people willing to participate then money is just a detail that can help. The people will do the job, you find ways to get the job done, and will attract more people.
We all know that the church in its beginning was not a rich church. They could not have their own buildings, they could not meet in public places, they were not recognized as an official religion. They suffered persecution from the state and from other religions. It was a very tough time. They did not have marketing campaign, TV, or internet, but they had people, and because of that they were able to fulfill their mission.
In the letter that Paul wrote to the church of Colosse we find this astounding text: “… All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. Colossians 1:6.” Paul is telling that the first generation of Christians was able to spread the Gospel to the whole world that they knew.
How did they do that without any technology and money? Here are some lessons that we can learn from them:
1. Keeping the simplicity of the Gospel – This is the first one. Do not complicate. The Gospel is the simple message of the love of God. Our generation is very good in complicating things. The church in our times is doing many things that go beyond its mission.
2. Emphasis on people – People over program should be our motto. The church’s business is about people. We reach people with people. Personal connection has proven to be the most effective way of growing a church.
3. Creativity – Lack of money is not the problem when we put our creativity to work. The church should be a place where creativity is allowed and encouraged.
4. Personal commitment – Finally, we must have personal commitment, if we want to get things done. The discipleship is manifested in a personal commitment to God and His Word, a commitment to the church, God’s people, and a commitment to the world, with the intense desire to bring the message and love of God to them.
Have a blessed week,