Does Size Matter?
I’m the pastor of a very small congregation. We probably couldn’t maintain our viability as a local church if we were any smaller.
Having pastored several churches of varying sizes, I’ve found that (at least when it comes to local expressions of the Body of Christ) size doesn’t matter. Sometimes the problems and challenges are a bit different, but the scope of the daily battle remains the same.
To join our church, there are several vows one must take. One of them goes something like this: Will you resist evil in whatever guise it presents itself? The presumptive answer, of course, is “I will.” We all say, “I will.” Then we all proceed to personally add to the evil (even if it happens to be in small, innocuous ways). It’s called “being a sinner.”
I’m not slamming the church on this. I’m just as guilty as everyone else. I’m just pointing out that we all have our flaws. We all fall prey to temptation from time to time. In addition, we often think we’re mainly okay while the rest of the world is the problem.
“Who do you say I am?”
I only point this out because of something Jesus said a couple thousand years ago. Remember when he asked his disciples what people were saying about him? He specifically said, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” The disciples gave him a few differing answers that were floating out there among the hoi polloi.
Then he asked them, “Who do you say I am?” That’s when they got the big revelation. Peter immediately shot back, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
I’m not sure what the others thought, but Jesus seemed quite pleased and told Peter that God himself had given him that info. He hadn’t heard it from any human being.
Then, in the following conversation, he dropped the big announcement. He would build his church and, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Think about that one for a minute or two.
I don’t care if you are part of a mega-church or a congregation of six people. Small churches are the same as large ones in this arena. We have been bolstered by the claim of God Almighty that we will defeat Hell.
“We are going to win because of one thing…”
To be quite honest, I’m not sure how big Hell (and its gates) happens to be. I am sure, however, that we will be victors over it. I’m just as sure it’s not going to be due to the fact that we’re bigger, stronger, better, or craftier than whatever creatures call Hades their domicile.
We are going to win because of one thing, and one thing only. That one thing is the person of Jesus Christ. Without him, I’m not interested in taking on the evil in my own life, let alone that which permeates the realm we call Hell.
The congregation I serve is sparse in number. But we’re winners. So are you if you belong to Jesus.