So I pastor a small church, or do I? According to the information I have seen on the internet the average church congregation in this grand country is 75-80 adults. In an age of "mega-churches, any church may be perceived as small, but 2000 plus congregation churches are actually few. Yet pastors measure their success by them like a company measuring their market share.
Living in So Cal where there are a number of churches within 30 minutes that have 1000 plus congregations it would be easy to see our attendance as small. But since when was quantity a sign of ministry success unless success is measured by warm bodies rather than actual servants and disciples of Christ ready to take up their cross.
Consider the ministry of Jesus, he had multitudes gathering to hear his sermons, houses filled so that you couldn't get through the front door, throngs so dense that the disciples couldn't get how Jesus sensed the touch of one ill stricken woman. Yet, there was only 120 passionate people gathering in that upper room following His resurrection.
I am of the view that the church was not meant to be gathered in a mass but to spread and so it did with churches in towns, villages and cities from Jerusalem to the outer most parts of the world. Some of which were smaller than my congregation. Sure that was the culture and nature of the times but consider the benefits. Today, I hear pastors dismayed because another church was planted in their town like salesman seeking to protect their territory. But why is this an issue?
But while I am not against another church starting in my town I am more so a proponent of planting churches where the Gospel is not preached or sparsely preached. This is why I emphasis foreign missions so much.
The bottom line is that I do not see our fellowship of believers as small, not in todays terms and not in Biblical terms. This is because I measure size by the spiritual growth and maturity of the congregations and in this case we are growing, growing in His love, grace, truth and Spirit. Is there any other growth to measure a church or a believer? Consider these words of Jesus that set the bar for us as believers. As a pastor my calling is to see His will fulfilled in the congregation He has given me to shepherd.
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31-32.
"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35
"And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27