Ordinary Means

Nowadays, ordinary is a bad word. In a culture that is constantly looking for the next big thing, who wants what is ordinary? We want the spectacular. We want what is bigger, better, and exciting. To feel validated as a person, one must not settle for what is ordinary. Our approach to church is not much different. In a world that values novelty, innovation, and relevance, the expectation is for pastors to appear hip, worship to feel amazing, and teaching to be useful for our most recent news feed of felt needs. But the goal of the church’s mission is to make disciples, and the means of the church’s mission is the ordinary ministry of the Word and sacrament in the local church (Matt 28:18-20). Do we need more movements, more conferences, and more celebrities? The next big thing? What we need are more churches committed to the way disciples have been made since the Apostles planted a church in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago: the slow-going, unspectacular, ordinary ministry, where God is raising dead sinners and creating a living communion of saints.

Michael G. Brown