And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
The Value of a Soul
We do the work even if only to minister to a handful of people. On this trip, the first church that we ministered to was very small. I think it had less than 10 people regularly.
During the time we were there, we had another family visit, since they knew the pastor. However, they regularly attend another church. There was also a couple that used to attend the church, but since moving to the city that is an hour’s drive away, they have also found another church.
But size is something that I want to talk about.
We tend to think that bigger is better.
Bigger is Not Always Better
This is very natural. In the world, the people who others look up to are the ones with the biggest bank accounts, the most followers, the most influential… the ones who wield a lot of power. We are naturally drawn to power.
But on the other hand (and I have been guilty of this) we also think in the context of the church, that a larger church is more blessed by God. That they are doing something right. That size is some sort of yardstick by which we can measure blessing from God. But this is not always so.
I can think of many “churches” that are not teaching sound biblical truth but have many professing “Christians”. Are they successful? Maybe they do earn and make a lot of money (and let’s not go into whether that’s acceptable or not) but in terms of being faithful and obeying God? I find it hard to agree that they are successful in God’s eyes.
So neither is it true that it is less important to minister to a few people.
Ministering to Just a Few
So what if there are only 10 people in the audience? Does it make your special item less important? Something that you can take less seriously?
When we present a special item – it’s for God. It doesn’t matter if there is only one person listening or a thousand.
Sure, there is always nerves when presenting in front of a large crowd. I get that. I do feel it. The pressure is higher when there are more eyes on you.
But when it comes to specials that are meant for the praise and glory of God, then it doesn’t matter – it shouldn’t matter – how many people are watching. It only matters what God thinks.
I know for some of the members of the team, the difference in numbers is greater. In the south, the churches are huge, 1000 of people even.
I used to think our church – my church – with about 50 regular people in the morning service is small.
Then I see this church, and the church I attended in Switzerland. And I realise that what I have back home is already considered big.
But it is not the size that matters really.
Yes, churches also take time to grow. Of the two churches that we ministered to, the bigger one had about a hundred people in its congregation. The pastor of the smaller church said that bigger church was planted some 30 years ago. When it started, it was just like this smaller church.
God is able to work even with a small number of people. And if you’re just going to affect a few lives – or even one life – that doesn’t make it any less valuable.
You cannot place a value on a soul saved.
For the value of a soul is priceless.