Thursday, 8 October 2009

How many is enough?

Working for a baptist church in Hartlepool is a weird thing. We work and work to tell people about Jesus and to get them to engage with God's teaching in the Bible and the salvation he offers everyone and yet on a good Sunday Morning we still have less that 100 people there and it still feels like the vast majority of people have little or no interest.
I so often find myself just wishing that as a church we were a bit bigger. I was talking yesterday to someone and found myself wishing that we just had another 100 people in the church. How encouraging it would be to have 100-200 people in the church rather than 0-100. How much easier it would be to organise things and then to do them.
However, this couldn't help but lead me to ask the question How many would be enough for me? You see if Hartlepool has 90 odd thousand people living in it then all that going from 100 to 200 would do is mean that there are 89800+ people we don't have contact with as opposed to 89900+. Would this be enough for me? I guess not. I guess I'd still want more. Even if we got mega church size and had 5000 people coming on a Sunday that would still leave 85000+ people who don't have anything to do with us.
I long for God to be working in Hartlepool. I long for his church to be growing here and I long for people to be saved but thinking about it I think I'd probably better leave the numbers to him!


  1. Well said.
    On the theme of numbers some interesting ideas from Spurgeon this morning:

    "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught."—Luke 5:4.

    We learn from this narrative, the necessity of human agency. The draught of fishes was miraculous, yet neither the fisherman nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but all were used to take the fishes. So in the saving of souls, God worketh by means; and while the present economy of grace shall stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. When God worketh without instruments, doubtless He is glorified; but He hath Himself selected the plan of instrumentality as being that by which He is most magnified in the earth. Means of themselves are utterly unavailing. "Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing." What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen plying their special calling? Verily, they were no raw hands; they understood the work. Had they gone about the toil unskillfully? No. Had they lacked industry? No, they had toiled. Had they lacked perseverance? No, they had toiled all the night. Was there a deficiency of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in shoals. What, then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the means of themselves apart from the presence of Jesus? "Without Him we can do nothing." But with Christ we can do all things. Christ's presence confers success. Jesus sat in Peter's boat, and His will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the net. When Jesus is lifted up in His Church, His presence is the Church's power—the shout of a king is in the midst of her. "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." Let us go out this morning on our work of soul fishing, looking up in faith, and around us in solemn anxiety. Let us toil till night comes, and we shall not labour in vain, for He who bids us let down the net, will fill it with fishes.

  2. God can do amazing things if we pray! I have no doubt in His ability only ours! If we trust Him, He will work.