We live in a world that demands we label everything and place it in it proper category. After having done this we then turn to numbers to decide if we need to change anything and what is needed to make that change, which by the way, will be good for all of us. We assume that the greater the count the better the thing. About four years ago on another blog I lamented that many of our smaller churches were being closed. Some of course because they hadn’t been successful at the numbers game and to be fair they were just dying out as the membership aged.
Here are a few of the church labels of the day. A “Mega Church” for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term is a church so large that if the last person to leave were to turn out the lights it would be the next week. Then there are “large churches”, they have valet parking, at least three morning services, Family life Center and two or more Pastors. Then there are the “big churches”. They have everything the large churches have but they’re having a hard time paying for them. That brings us to that “nice little church”. They don’t have any of the above. Everyone knows everyone; the Pastor is either a nice old guy or a brash young man filled with the spirit that preaches long and loud. The sound system if they have one came from Radio Shack and there is a piano that old Aunt Nettie played for years before she died. Now the newer younger lady is Nettie’s younger sister. Amen! Today there is something bigger than numbers, well it is said it leads to good numbers. That something is “Service”.
To grow a church has to have a lot of different programs other than worship itself. It’s all about how you present yourself; make people want to come, offer a range of services that meets every need. Family things, what do you have for the kids, is there a Youth Director, what type of Music Program do you have? Is there a Family Life Center and what does it include? What about the young adults and seniors, do you have programs for them? Now I could go on and on but the point is this. Church today is about the services it can offer to its members. Most of the things I have listed are the ones people ask about. I have never really heard anyone ask, do you preach the gospel of the Living Christ and is the pastor anointed by God preaching the word and led by the Holy Spirit? When I shared this with some friends they had a question for me. What does it matter how large or small a church is, or what services it offers its members, as long as people are saved and their lives are better? Well I can’t argue with that. I do still wonder why the success of a church is determined by its size. Religion is a weird science for lack of a better term. I think I will stick with John 14.6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” That’s the way it looks from my spot in the pew. Come back next week. The pews aren’t full yet.