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Big Is Not Always Better
by Ken Barnes
9/30/2015 / Church Life
Thus says the Lord,
"As the new wine is found in the cluster..." (Isaiah 65:8 NASB)
Everybody wants a bigger church, a more significant ministry. The expansion of God's purposes on this earth is never bad. But sometimes in His Kingdom least may be the best.
What was Jesus' strategy for reaching the world? It involved a group of three (Peter, James, and John) and then the twelve disciples. David had 30 valiant warriors. Gideon had his army trimmed down to three hundred men. God's people have rarely fought a battle where they were not out numbered.
When Jesus spoke of the cost of discipleship the size of His following tended to wane. When he talked about cross bearing you got the impression that he was intentionally trying to winnow His flock. Are our church growth strategies sacrificing depth for breadth? A surge in the number of bodies in the pews may make us feel good, but does it necessarily translate into forming the life of Christ in His disciples? Our Lord who invested his life in a few started the movement that has changed the world, the church.
We can emulate the patterns of this world or we can follow the ways our Lord taught us. It depends on whether we are making disciples or spectators. New wine is always found in the cluster. In God's kingdom big is not always better and little is much if God is in it.
I worked for seventeen years as a missionary with Youth With A Mission. My missionary work has taken me to Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, and the Ukraine.I hold a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. [email protected]
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