I was just driving around town running some errands and thinking…how about a discussion with some of my friends and fellow bloggers about what makes a local church "great". I was listening to a guy on the radio talk about "great people"…he had his own criteria: successful, wealthy, popular, "pulled self up by own bootstraps" type of person, etc. In other words, to borrow some of the input going on in some of my favorite blogs currently, "greatness" defined in our culture is primarily defined from a consumeristic/economic perspective. Obviously, that makes "local church" greatness equal to what many of us have "lovingly" critiqued: big buildings, big budgets, published pastors, conferences held to tell others "the secrets" to their success, etc. If we walk away from that paradigm and have an honest discussion, what might a great local church look like without the consumeristic lens? Part of this comes from a desire to have the community group that I am a part of realize the potential that God has in mind for us. Is that potential ONLY have to do with size, money, buildings and cultural popularity? I have met many Christ-followers who long to be part of a church-plant but have as their "goal" or objective to get to a place where they get recognition, speaking invitations, and the opportunity to do seminars on how they "did it". What is a great ministry? How can we define it without falling into a capitalistic framework? You have any ideas? I’d love to talk to you about it!