The least is the greatest, said Jesus, and what do we consider lagging behind, insignificant or least today? What else but small churches. People think small churches lack favor from God just because they're small and moneyless. But they're moneyless because most big ones are greedy. If we get rid of greed and obey Jesus, all churches (especially moneyed and propertied churches) will give up their wealth and give to poor ones.
You Won't See the Kingdom Landscape with Big
Kingdom Landscape in the last days. Click here.
Then they'll begin to understand how small is powerful in Christ. With smaller load in front of you, you see what's ahead better. With smaller load behind your back, you walk better, too. In this sense, it's useless and wasteful to brag about how big and moneyed and propertied your church is if you don't give up everything. It doesn't mean anything in the Spirit. Hollow pride. James says the rich should take pride in their lowly position. That's the only "pride" counted in heaven.
It's in small things that a pure heart is revealed. The poor widow gave very small copper coins in the offering and it revealed her heart. In the Spirit, her small copper coins were worth more than what the rich gave because the copper coins were all she had. The rich gave big offerings, but their spiritual poverty was revealed--because they gave a pittance out of their wealth. Small is powerful in Christ when it is done with a big heart.
But how about giving a big offering with a big heart? Isn't that better? In Christ there's no such thing as "big offering." It's either all or nothing. The poor widow was great in God's eyes not because of her small copper coins but because she gave her everything. A 'big heart" means you give up everything to God. Thus, you can't give just a "big offering" and think you have a big heart. You have to give up everything. That's what I mean by small is powerful in Christ.
Because it's easier to give up small. If you are trustworthy with small, you are with big. It doesn't say the reverse. No such thing as, "If you're trustworthy with big, then you're trustworthy with small." Jesus didn't put it that way because he knew the human heart. The moment you get big you won't be able to give up everything. It's hard for the rich to enter God's Kingdom, he said. That's why small is powerful in Christ.
Look at big, moneyed and propertied churches and denominations. Tell them to give up everything then give to the poor. They'll just laugh at you and think you're nuts--and you're "out of context" (that's their favorite alibi). But truth is, they can't do it. They'd rather give big amounts than give up everything. They'd rather feed the poor with soup and bread.
Give Up Your Ministry
So being small is a big advantage, really. It's easy to give up everything if you're small. So, give up your ministry. Keep it "small" so it's easy to give up to God. If you're growing in numbers, subdivide. Release the other half to your disciples--or release portions to your disciples. This way, all the space you need is your house. God's present move is going back to house churches in these end-times. That will keep us meek.
Train your disciples well in the Spirit (they will be your sons and daughters in faith later) and give them portions of your "growing" ministry--and then release them. I mean, release portions of the church for them to handle as God's mature servants. Let them grow. And then they, too, should divide later into smaller groups and release portions to their disciples, and so on. Jesus divided the five small loaves to his disciples who in turn distributed to the people they had divided into small groups.
The bible says, "All ate and were satisfied." We feed them well if we keep them small. Get it? Mega churches or empires are outdated. Empires are known to leave a good portion of their constituents hungry and neglected. Don't be an emperor. Be a discipler.
To me, the ideal to keep with you is 12 to 15. Well 20, the most. Or perhaps a hundred if God's given you faith that can handle that size. It largely depends on the faith-size God allots you. God's design for the church is family, not an empire. It's much easier to be faithful with 15 disciples than 100 or 200 disciples. If your faith can handle a 50-member or 100-member family, then go ahead (Jesus had the 5,000 divided into 50s and 100s to feed them well). Make sure your few loaves and fish are able to supernaturally feed 5,000 men (or about 10,000, counting women and kids).
Some desire to have 500 or 1,000 church members but their few loaves and fish feed only 5. Or, they need to have a whole bakery and fish port to feed 1,000. This requires too much work (leaving you no time to rest in God). Some pastors take 1 or 3 weeks to prepare one sermon. Some take a month. And they boast of this. Some need to enter seminaries and earn degrees just to be able to make sermons. But actually, if you have more time to rest in God, you need only a minute to an hour to prepare messages with the capacity to feed 5,000. Remember, the Kingdom model is a few loaves and fish with the capacity to feed 5,000 who "eat and are satisfied."
Your sons and daughters in Christ remain connected to you as they handle new churches derived from your ministry. You continue to feed them. They continue to honor you as their father in faith. But you DON'T OWN their ministries. These offshoot groups or churches (or rather breakthrough churches) are your offspring in Christ but remember that your sons and daughters are now responsible for them. Release them. They're connected to you in Spirit but independent. It's a real family in Christ. You let them enjoy their uniqueness, freedom and their own accountability to God as they continue connecting to you.
So forget about your ambitions of having mega churches. It's difficult to give up everything when you have mega churches. I heard one pastor with a mega church say, "They're stealing my members" when some of his members transferred to other churches. He thought he OWNED these souls. He probably thought he died for them. This happens because of greed.
Only Jesus owns souls.
Many church leaders begin to think like this because they find it hard to give up their ministries when they get big. Look at denomination leaders. They cannot give up everything. They want to maintain their empires. Well, worse are pastors who have small churches and yet cannot give them up entirely to God. One sign you can't give up your ministry to God is when you harbor ambitions of having a big church you can brag about as your own (and you begin to think you own people's souls, too). That's not the small I mean here.
How God looks at small. That small is powerful in Christ.