Is Being Small Sin?
They've made it a doctrine that small is sin. They won't admit it but it's there. Most pastors lose sleep over it. They lose their health, happiness and temper wondering how not to be small. It's become these pastors' number one fear---being a small church. They think small is "dead" especially if you remain small. Some smart Aleck inculcated into their minds that God gets so angry when they're small.
Actually, it's nowhere in Scriptures. Yes, God wants us to evangelize and make disciples of as many people as we can, but he never commanded anywhere that, "thou shalt be a big local church!" Numbers and growth remain God's decision alone. He decides the size of your church. Your only responsibility is to be faithful with what you're given, period. So, you shouldn't fear having a small church or even losing members. No reason for pastors' number one fear.
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. [1 Corinthians 3.7]
Faithful to Your Present Assignment
Greed causes pastors to get a lot more people than are assigned to them. It's okay to handle a mega church if it's the measure of faith God assigned to you. But once you get more than your share (or more than your faith can handle), you'd just enrich yourself with the big income and live a posh, luxurious life. You begin to brag about your wealth and achievement. Like Nebuchadnezzar, you begin to feel superior than those who have small ministries.
You think it's your greatness that put you on top. And worse, the multitude of people in your church remain babes in Christ. Active and sounding super spiritual, yeah, but immature and carnal nonetheless. Why? They're victims of your fear---pastors' number one fear---having a small church or losing their members to another church. So you always aim to be big.
A lot of church people just sound super spiritual. They become like that when the pastor who feeds them harbors the fear of being small. So they maintain an image of bigness, but inside they're really small. So do their members become like that---sounding super spiritual. That's not achievement in the Spirit realms. That's religion. That's the fruit of pastors' number one fear.
There are genuinely spiritual people in mega churches. And there are mega churches grown by God himself. But there are also those grown by greed.
Growth is from God, not you or your efforts. You see, there's an assignment for each of us. In the parable of the talents, some were given 5, some 3 some one. They put the money "to work." Other versions say "traded." When you trade you don't work; you invest or put the money to work. The stewards didn't do the work---they put the money or talent to work. See that? It's Kingdom principle on any matter that involves increase, whether money, talents or church membership.
Genuine church increase in the last days. Click here.
Any legitimate increase is not based on human effort. It's on obedience and faithfulness. Obey and be faithful. God causes the increase. The one given 5 talents traded and increased it to 10, and he was commended as a "faithful servant" (not "hard-working" servant). If you remain faithful, God causes the increase. If you're given only one talent, you should at least put it in a bank to get interest.
Again, bank interest does not depend on your effort. The bank trades the money for you. In other words, if you're given a small church, you should at least faithfully keep it in the Kingdom realms, making sure it doesn't wander off somewhere doing things in the ways of the world. You do not have numerical increase but keeping the church Kingdomly earns it "interests." You're being faithful.
"Burying" the talent means no increase or growth of any kind. Try burying your money in the ground and see if it earns interest. It will not. A lot of peopled churches (those packed with crowds of members), abundant with church programs and activities and where more people are recruited from time to time (and earn big church income) are really "buried" in the ground if they have no real increase in the spirit---especially if a church's mind is on man's concerns alone.
Real increase is always increase in spiritual stature.
Quantity is NOT Your Concern
Remember Peter being called "Satan" by Jesus? It was precisely because he had in mind only the concerns of man, not the concerns of God. If you build a church to satisfy people's desires, you are building Satan's church. It would be better to have 2 or 3 in church and you do nothing but what God wants done. For instance, you share the Gospel with people, not to increase your local membership, but because the lost need to hear it.
As you evangelize to them, they also need to see the cost of believing in Jesus. Others who just want local membership increase hide the costs from people. They present it with thick, sweet icing so people will be lured to "accept" Jesus and then join them. The result is a rotten church because evangelism was done in greed---to get more people in because more people means bigger income.
When Jesus evangelized to the rich, young ruler he told him the cost of discipleship. "Give up everything" the Lord told him when he wanted to know how to have eternal life. It's important for people to know the cost right at the start, before they plunge in. Salvation is free but it also has a "cost." If you fear telling people the real cost and just present them a nice slice of sweet, creamy salvation to make them sign in to your membership, you have the pastors' number one fear. And Satan has you as slave.
God didn't call you to build a big church---he called you to share the Gospel faithfully, period. You depart from that call and you develop the pastors' number one fear. And it was the sin of Jeroboam---losing members. It led him to idolatry. He made two idols to keep his "members" from going to Jerusalem. You fear having a small church or losing members, you become unfaithful with your evangelism.
Small churches or remaining small is not a sin as long as you keep evangelizing and discipling according to how God wants them done. I share the Gospel not to up my local membership. I want people to know the truth and decide according to the whole truth. I don't care if they receive Christ and then attend another church. I don't care if the church God gave me remains small. That's immaterial to me. Wherever they attend, I know I have a part in them. It's one church---one body. And when they share the Gospel to other people and make disciples, I have a part in that, too. It's spiritual residual rewards. I'll talk about this in a coming article.
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