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It is the typical conversation between Ministers. How is your church doing? How many are showing up for Sunday morning? These questions are conversation starters that help us share how we are doing with the churches we are called to serve. However, there are times when I wonder if it would be better to remain silent.
I love the fellow ministers in my circle of influence, but some of them can cause awkward moments with their replies.
When I am asked about my attendance, I have no reason to lie, so I tell them that we are averaging 20 people each week, and the response is almost the same every time.
I usually get a pat on my shoulder and some encouraging words such as “Hang in there” and “It is hard to grow a church with 20 people,” but what those people fail to realize is that I am not discouraged, and I am proud of our 20 people who show up every week.
Although we are only 20 people, we have every generation represented, dedicated volunteers and competent leaders who are Biblically grounded. Our worship services are high quality and we have high percentages showing up for Bible Study. In fact, we rarely have an event without over half of our people showing up because we love being around each other, and we want to let people know that we support our church.
Are we too small to do “Church things” like the “bigger” churches do? Some people might think so, but they would be wrong.
At this point, you might be expecting me to create a list of items that prove how we are just as good of a church as the bigger churches. You might even be looking for some kind of statement about how we are better because we are smaller. I’m sorry to disappoint those who think that way, but comparing ourselves to our sister churches is a recipe for disaster.
Our church was not created to compete with other churches. We exist to evangelize and edify, to teach and to train, to mentor and to mobilize the people so they can grow closer to God through learning the Bible and serving the Lord.
Nowhere in the above description is there a requirement for us to be a certain number of people before we can start being a church. There is no growth rate we need to maintain and no master plan for expansion to accommodate the masses. I am not against strategies that help us grow the churches, but I do have a problem with those who view such strategies as the only way a church can survive.
Don’t get me wrong. I look forward to the day when we have to build a bigger building and hire more ministers, and Lord willing, we will see that happen while I am still here. However, that is not my purpose as a Minister.
I exist as a Minister to move people closer to God.
How do I move them closer to God? I teach them the Bible. Everything else I do can be considered an accessory because those tasks can help people stay connected to the church, but the main point of my part in the ministry is to teach the Word. Whether I am in front of 20 people or 20,000 people, my focus remains the same. I take what I learned from the Bible and pass the information along to those who want to learn. It may be a simple approach, but it works.
Sometimes, we miss the simple answer because we are too busy looking for the complex.
When the church began in Acts 2, they were not concerned about half the stuff the American church is concerned about, and they were better for it. Perhaps we should learn from the Apostles and get back to the simple approach of teaching the Bible to those who want to learn.
It is so simple; it just might work!