"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What's Wrong with Being Small?

Image from Scoopnest.
I used to be among them---terribly dreadful of being small. We hated being pastors of a small church. Aren't they all like that today? They all want to be big. And they concocted up some tales about displeasing God when we remain small. This means God is pleased only with big churches---in fact, with anything big---big income, big building, big crusades, big attendance, big crowds, big everything.

We were duped. But not anymore.

The least is the greatest and the greatest is the least. Now, this doesn't mean big is bad. It just means being least does not displease God. In fact, the least is greatest in his eyes---meaning, the meek, lowly, the poor in spirit, and those who know that no achievement or success is due to their ability. It's all God's grace, so no reason to take credit and boast.

It's possible to be great in people's eyes and also great in God's eyes, if the principles above are true in your life. But you seldom see this. Success and money often change people for the worse. They were humble when they began small. But you see pride and arrogance building up when they start growing big.

Small isn't bad or something to be ashamed of as long as your heart is right. I mean, as long as you are committed to the great commission, evangelizing and discipling every opportunity you have, you have nothing to worry about if you're small or remain small. In Revelation when Jesus made rounds among churches, he never found fault with a church for being small. In fact, he commended a small church, Philadelphia.

I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. [Revelation 3.8].
He rebuked churches for compromising and being impure. Being small doesn't irk God. We've seen how Jesus favored the small when he was on earth, particularly favoring little children. Then he said, unless we become like little children, we won't make it to the Kingdom. He also chose to be born in Bethlehem, the least town in Judah at that time. 

It's not good to plan to be small, especially if this means neglecting sharing the gospel with people. But neither should we become desperate and pursue after people to fill up our churches and make it big. A lot of so-called "church planters" are  just after the numbers, not really souls. If you're really after souls, you'd take care that they really understand their decision for Christ and not just make a casual decision. 

I always determine to give prospects a complete picture of what it means to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord when I share the gospel. I want them to see the cost of discipleship---denying self and following Jesus. When Jesus shared eternal life to the rich young ruler, he told him the cost---give up his money and properties, share with the poor, and follow Jesus. The young man left, sad. Jesus didn't follow him up or pursue him. He even said it's "difficult" for the rich to get to heaven.

This is how evangelism should be done. Do not make it so easy for people to "accept" Jesus, neither should we make it hard. Just present the whole truth and let people decide. Let the Holy Spirit convict and convince. Our job is just to share truth.

If we share the gospel correctly as Jesus did it, we make people realize the gravity and commitment of being a true believer and disciple of Jesus. Then they'd make a careful, well thought of decision. In my experience, 9 out of 10 refused to receive Jesus and said they needed more time to think about it. I'm happy when they say that. It means they understand thoroughly how serious the decision is.

I've seen people who made quick decisions to "accept" Jesus but ended up worse. Some remained in church but became worse nonetheless. Some became trouble makers in church, rebellious and poisoning the minds of new members and the young against their pastors. Many became rulers in church, ruling over even their pastors. If this is the case, I'd rather have a small church where everyone bears the fruit of the Spirit and submits meekly to authority.

Desiring big churches sometimes is a sign of greed. Mega churches means more people giving more offerings, and that means big income. And that means popularity and power. That means the capacity to own properties and cars and even planes and jets. No wonder many pastors desperately want to have mega churches. And they hate being small. They disdain small churches.

I've heard people equate being small with being unfaithful to the great commission of Christ. These folks are narrow-minded. Being big doesn't always mean being faithful. It's easy to create big when you adulterate God's Word and present only spicy or sweet verses to people, promising them things Jesus never promised. And it's easy to attract people to your mega church buildings with modern facilities and super programs and activities to grow your membership.

But one thing for sure---you've made them fall in love with church, not with Jesus. That's when you really have to worry, even if you're big. Because you've just made an idol, the work of your hands.

For more radically life-changing insights, get our e-books! 

GOD's Flesh: "And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" [Job 19.26-17]. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!