The Extraordinary Value of the Ordinary

We aren’t promoting anything extra ordinary this week. We don’t have a week of special meetings coming soon. There’s nothing seasonal to draw our attention and maybe a crowd, and we aren’t organized Friend Day, the Sequel for this Sunday. The first three weeks of April were as busy as we get at First Calvary, but now it’s back to the routine, and that’s a good thing.

A Christian builds her life on the layers of the ordinary. Ordinary Bible reading, ordinary prayer, ordinary gathering together for worship, and ordinary faithful living to the Lordship of Jesus Christ are the hallmarks of the mature Christian. Boring is not a synonym for ordinary. Ordinary equates to normal, usual, regular, or familiar. And ordinary church life is the hallmark of a healthy church.

The spectacular moments of a church may, and I emphasize may, inject a momentary jolt into the system, something like the impact of a Red Bull, a six-pack of Mountain Dew, or a double espresso (I really don’t know what that is.) But the spectacular moments are not the foundational stones of the church. The bedrock of the church is the ordinary. When we embrace the ordinary together, we grow a healthy church.

Ordinary corporate Bible reading informs the gathered church of what God thinks about his creation and what He wishes to reveal to us about himself. A church that knows the mind of God is a healthy church.

Ordinary corporate prayer unites the body in mutual dependency on God and broad agreement on what is important and needful for the church at the moment. A church that routinely enters God’s presence together is a healthy church.

Ordinary corporate worship promotes so much that is good for the church. In ordinary worship we learn to subdue our preferences in seat location or even music selections. In ordinary worship we gravitate to the same comfortable faces and choose to receive the less than inviting ones. In ordinary worship we receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit every time the Word of God is faithfully preached to us. We can count on the Holy Spirit showing up to the faithful preaching of the Word. We don’t need a special tent meeting to have him do a work in us. Just take in the ordinary preaching of the Word of God, and He will be there. A church that routinely gathers to worship together is a healthy church.

Ordinary faithful living by the church to the Lordship of Jesus Christ calls the next generation to the same ordinary faithful living to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In my opinion a major though not singular reason the next generation does not live faithfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is because they saw so much unfaithfulness in the local church. They want nothing to do with that kind of religion. And rightly so. As a rule, generational Christians point to those before them as models for faithful living to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

In addition, ordinary faithful living by the church to the Lordship of Jesus Christ calls an unbelieving world to salvation that comes from Jesus Christ. The big events may aid evangelism, but they are no replacement for the ordinary faithful life of the church to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When the unbelieving world sees our love for each other, our holiness because of the change brought about by the Holy Spirit, our generosity with our resources, and our peaceful response to pain and sorrow, our words that convey the gospel resonate in their souls. A church that routinely lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ is healthy church.

So, there are no flyers in the lobby announcing the coming big thing. You won’t receive any emails reminding you not to miss out on what’s happening next. However, I do hope you will eagerly anticipate the ordinary as the steady way to grow a healthy Christian and healthy church.

As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.