The Reach of a Small Church
Southern Hills is a small church. This is the way I most commonly hear our church described. We are a small church.
We are not intentionally small. We are not small by design or because of desire. In fact we pray regularly that God would add people to the church, not because bigger is inherently better, but because we have a great longing to see people know and follow our Savior. We desire to see people set free from their sins and to help them grow in their relationship with Jesus, and we want that for as many people as possible.
As we think about our ability to reach out to our community with the Gospel it may be easy to wonder what kind impact we can have. Like I said, we are small in number. When we gather on a Sunday we have an average attendance of less than fifty people. But with that said, consider this:
When we gather on Sunday there are generally about 19 households represented. This means that when we leave a Sunday gathering we return to 19 different homes and to 19 different neighborhoods. Yes, we are a small church but God has given us the opportunity to have a Gospel witness in 19 different neighborhoods.
On Mondays we wake up and we scatter. By my count we scatter to 30 different workplaces throughout our community and the surrounding area. Yes, we are a small church but God in His kindness has given us the opportunity to have a Gospel witness in 30 different workplaces.
Also, as we scatter we take our kids to at least 11 different schools and daycares in our community. Yes, we are a small church but God has sovereignly given us 11 different schools and daycares where we can develop relationships and have a Gospel witness.
In addition, by God’s sovereign design, He has given each of us different hobbies and passions. I’m not sure how many different sports leagues, social clubs and other organizations we all interact with on a weekly basis, but I do know that on every day of the week God scatters our small church to a variety of different parts of our community and provides us with scores of people to whom we can be a Gospel witness. (With two boys on two different baseball teams our family gets to interact with an additional 18 families each week.)
I could keep going and we could try and calculate how many salons, waiting rooms, coffee shops, grocery stores, banks, barber shops and doctors offices God scatters our small church to each week; none by accident or outside of His plan. We are a small church but on a daily basis God places us in a variety of places where we can be a Gospel witness.
This week I want to ask you to pray with me.
Pray for our 19 neighborhoods.
Pray for our 30 workplaces.
Pray for our 11 schools and daycares.
Pray for our various teams, clubs and organizations.
And let's pray that God would use us, small as we may be, to reach many with the love of Christ and the Good News of the Gospel.
Let’s be faithful. And may God use what may seem small to reach many.