“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations . . .”  Matthew 28:19 NIV

When I entered in the University of Tennessee in 1966, it was the largest university in the South with over 30,000 undergraduates.  Concerns about the size caused administrators to cap the enrollment, and it is actually smaller today some 52 years later.     

I remember friends entering smaller schools at the same time.  They had been sold on the allegations that at Tennessee the class sizes would be huge and they’d be a number rather than a name.  In the College of Engineering, my class sizes ranged from 3 to 14 students, which proved to be much smaller than what my friends experienced, and professors knew all our names.  

You may be wondering what this comment has to do with the church.  Due to our residency in two states, my wife and I attend two different churches, one large (13,000+) and one small (600+).  Both are exceptional places to worship.  The mega church is expanding via social media and television to reach hundreds of thousands of people every week.  The smaller (and newer) church is growing by leaps and bounds, with architectural renderings in place to add a 2,300 person sanctuary in the not-too-distant future.  

How many people do you know who have stated that they don’t want to attend a large church because they’d feel out-of-place by not knowing anyone, etc.–that is, simply being a number in the headcount rather than a name?  Here’s a better way of thinking about it.  Our objective is to enter the Pearly Gates some day.  In this history of this planet, one guess is that 10 billion people have lived on it.  Let’s just take a really wild guess and say that only 1 person in 1,000 enters Heaven.  Even so, the population of Heaven would be 10 million.  I think you’d agree that’s a big church!  

The last directive given to us by Jesus before His ascension was to make disciples.  How is your church faring in this regard?  Is the attendance growing at least equal to or greater than the population of the area where it is located?  If not,  has it responded to solving this problem?  What can you do to help expand the kingdom and make both your earthly and heavenly churches much bigger?  

Prayer:  Thank you, God, for the church.  May we contribute to its growth and win others for Your kingdom.  Amen.  

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