OceanSide church of Christ

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Small Churches
by: Dalton Gilreath

Unfortunately, the success of a congregation is often measured by the numbers of individuals sitting in her pews. As a preacher I am often asked how big the church is where I attend. Admitting it or not, they are often preparing to judge my success, as well as the congregation’s, based upon the number I give them. Sadly this misconception leads small churches to ask, “What are we doing wrong? Are we spiritually failing because we are staying small?” There will always be those who believe a faithful church will not possibly stay small.

A great example to disprove this line of thinking is the church at Sardis (Rev 3:1). Jesus recognized their reputation made them appear “alive”. Folks heard about their growing numbers and evangelistic successes and assumed they were a model congregation. However, in God’s eyes they were not ideal at all. In fact, they needed to learn from Smyrna who was very likely a small congregation. They were suffering from heavy persecution and poverty (Rev 2:8-11). Therefore, the size is not what matters but the work and heart of its members. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean small churches are better than large churches. The conclusion of the matter is that a church’s success should not be based upon her numbers but her fruits. If every individual is laboring in faithfulness to Christ and the kingdom, then that church will be successful in God’s eyes. Now let’s make sure that is true of OceanSide!