Redefining Extraordinary

Just finished reading Mike McKinley's excellent book Church Planting Is For Wimps: How God Uses Messed-Up People To Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things.

Towards the end of the book, he gives a helpful new definition to "Extraordinary."

I want to redefine extraordinary. I don't think that it's wrong for church planters and church revitalizers to long for an extraordinary ministry. After all, we serve and extraordinary God who has procured an extraordinary salvation by extraordinary means. We should expect extraordinary things to happen when we serve Him. Yet we need to come to grips with the fact that the extraordinary things that God does may not be immediately and outwardly extraordinary in the eyes of other people.

What should we count as God's extraordinary work? It's not a stadium-sized building, a multi-million dollar budget, or satellite feeds to multiple venues. That's how the world measures and achieves extraordinary. Rather, it's extraordinary when God converts our neighbors, coworkers, children, friends, and family. It's extraordinary when proud, angry, selfish people have their hearts changed by the gospel. It's extraordinary when new churches selflessly invest their time, money, and prayers to establish and multiply even newer congregations. It's extraordinary when marriages are restored and cultural prejudices give way to unity in the gospel of Christ. It's extraordinary whenever God uses 'normal' pastors and church planters, faithful men with ordinary gifts and talents, to do all this work.

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