We live in a time when the nature of church is changing dramatically. There are a few very large congregations, but most churches are quite small. Do I have to be a mega church pastor to be “successful?”
What does it mean to be church in our time? Let’s be honest. How do we feel about our churches? How do you feel about yourself if you are a church leader?
It seems like we want to be a church of 100 if we worship 50. We want to be 200 if we have 100 people. We want to be 500 if we are now 200. We want to be 1000 if we are currently 500. We want to be 5000 if our worship attendance is 1000. And, to an extent, that is good and proper. The question is what drives you.
Do I want a larger church because people always ask what our church is “running” which means how many people you have – and my ego is fragile? Bigger is better. Small feels embarrassing.
Or do I want a larger church because I care about people, and I want them to be a part of God’s Kingdom with all of the present and eternal benefits?
If I want my church to be bigger because of my ego, then I don’t want the church to grow for the right reason. Stop reading now and pray. But if I want to be driven by the great commission for the sake of the people God loves, then let’s journey forward with boldness.
I want to make a case that the goal is to connect one more person to Jesus. Who is the person God is placing before me with whom I am called to have a spiritual conversation? I think of the starfish story that you may know.
A boy is on a seashore among thousands of starfish who are slowly dying on the sand. One at a time, the boy puts a starfish back in the ocean. A person comes along who asks why one would do such a daunting task when you can’t possibly help all those starfish. The answer is, “But I can help this one.”
Can we please stop evaluating and judging one another based on size of congregation? For that matter, can we please stop doing such based on denomination or no denomination, charismatic or not charismatic, conservative or liberal, how we baptize, and how we understand communion as well?
If you are a part of a mega church, awesome! If you worship 53, great! In either case and everywhere in-between, does the great commission drive you? Are you passionate about making disciples? Are you consumed with connecting one more person to Jesus and his church? If so, then I would love to worship with you. I believe you are a success. One day, I am confident you will hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
My personal mission statement is “Willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause.” I would love to hear what drives you. How do you understand God’s call on your life? Leave that or any comment in the space below.
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What drives me are kids tbat want to open up, those that don’t and the parents that are raising each kind. I want to know more about how others are successful too. I want to be around people. That is where I feel happy. No matter the size of the church, there is room for everyone.
Thanks, Wanda. I like how you point us to the fact that the life of following Jesus is about relationships. May God bless your efforts and bring you joy in the journey.