Today there were 35 of us at church – a small crowd even by our standards, and at 9.30 it looked like maybe some of us didn’t get the memo that church had been cancelled for the day.
This used to bother me. In fact I’m sure part of my self worth was linked to it.
It doesn’t now. It was actually a great day, with people sharing stories of what has been going on in their lives, one young couple announcing an engagement and an absolute screamer of a sermon… ok I made the last bit up…
There are things you can do with 35 that you can’t do with 135 and things you can do with 5 that you can’t do with 35.
If the end game is to make disciples – and it really is as simple as that – then we just need to get on with it. So these days I don’t get too worried about how many are there. I get more concerned about who we are becoming, or even ‘if’ we are becoming.
I imagine one day there may well be 135 gathering to ‘do church’, (whatever that may mean to you), but I sure as hell hope we keep the focus on the important stuff.
Lately as ‘visitors’ have come to ‘check us out’, I have felt the tyres get kicked and the scratches on the paintwork get pointed out and its been all I can do not to say some very unsavoury things. If we were actually setting out to impress them then maybe I’d accept that sometimes we don’t ‘measure up’ but given that is not our primary goal, tyre kickers and church shoppers will likely be perennially disappointed if they choose to shop with us.
So it was good to day to be with the 34 other people who are part of the family and to enjoy the different conversations, challenges and encouragements that came along – to recognise that for whatever reason God has thrown us together to help one another as we ask what it means to follow Jesus.