Saturday, June 03, 2023

The Apostle Paul was a Minimalist

(World Trade Center 1, NYC)

This is from my book Leading the Presence-Driven Church.

The apostle Paul was a minimalist. As he traveled from church to church, across the first-century Roman Empire, he did not drag a production team with him. In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, we see that Paul did not visit the Jesus-followers in Corinth with fog machines, black lights, powerful preaching, great intellectual arguments, stacks of Marshall amps, perfectly timed studio production quality music, a fair-trade coffee bar, tight jeans, stage lighting, creative videos, click tracks, and full color glossy programs. Instead, Paul came minimally, so that God might be worshiped maximally. He writes: 

When I came to you, 
I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom 
as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you 
except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 
I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 
My message and my preaching were not with 
wise and persuasive words, 
but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 
so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, 
but on God’s power. 

Paul arrived with two things: 
1. Proclamation 
2. Demonstration 

Paul shared his testimony about God, and gave a demonstration of the Spirit’s power. Nothing else. No crowd-pleasing techniques would be allowed to compete with Christ, and him crucified. Because if it turned into a production, people might rest their faith on the coffee, the jeans, and the fog, rather than on God’s power.