Brennan Manning taught that God's big moves rarely fill stadiums. I am convinced he was right.
God chose a small nation. His son was born in a stable. His death was minus most of his inner circle even. While there are a few examples of "big numbers", the mass conversion in Acts, feeding 5000, it seems like those were the exception not the rule. He chose 12, he kept company with a few more, and spent a good amount of time getting away from or frightening off the big crowds.
So I wonder about our own fascination with what is popular, shiny, "successful", and "mega". All of these things are patently at odds with intimacy. We show up, have an experience, identify with something grand and think that's God. I'm not saying he's not in those things. However, I have a favorite saying I've been spouting off for about 10 years
-God can do anything, anywhere, anytime, through anyone or anything...even a church.
I would go so far as to add "even a mega or multi-site-church"
But the people and places that I see God most often today and in scripture aren't successful or big or glossy. They're old, and sometimes dusty, and usually don't attract too much attention. My life was changed by a guy who came and ask me to meet and pray together when I was at my lowest. The greatest wisdom has come to me from people far from the spotlight.
And I think the spotlight and bigger stage or venue put us at odds with the purposes of the God whose joy it was to walk with his first couple in the cool of the evening. I think the video screen, anything that keeps us from looking each other in the eye, is askew from the God who came and dwelt among us.
My desire is to help create and participate in environments where we can know each other more deeply. Where the cry of the hurting isn't overwhelmed by the bigger sound system. Where the tears of the depressed aren't washed out by the bright lights of the stage. Where we can know one another, love one another, and wrestle out loud with the God that created us, loves us, and tends to us.
I want to know and be known. I want to know you. And I don't think that happens very well in most of our current religious environments.