In his book In the Gap, David Bryant coins a term to identify the Christian’s reluctance for missionary involvement:
Underneath disinterest in world outreach, underneath small missions budgets or limited personnel and the scandal of billions yet unreached, hides a culprit I call “pea–sized Christianity.”
There is a pea–sized box called convert Christianity—life in Christ gets no bigger than making it safely inside the kingdom.
Or there’s character Christianity—life in Christ gets no bigger than pulling one’s own spiritual act together.
When life in Christ is no bigger than the warm, secure fellowship I have each week with my good Christian buddies, I’m in a box of cloister Christianity.
Or when life in Christ is no bigger for me than getting nicely settled in a good paying job after graduation, then I’m trapped in career Christianity. Many of us are groping around the box of church Christianity—the Sunday school picnic, the choir’s Christmas pageant.
In summary, when my Christian experience expands no further than my salvation or small group or church or future, it’s pea–sized. When my activities don’t link me to the reaching of the earth’s unreached people, I’ve succumbed to pea–sized Christianity.
Charles F. Stanley, Enter His Gates: A Daily Devotional (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998).