I mentioned earlier my desire to bring to light issues of pride that I have dealt with and to, hopefully, bring out areas that need to be confessed in us as individuals and corporately as a Church. One of the areas I strugled with in college had to do with the pride of bigness. I assumed that if the ministry I was involved in had large amounts of people crowding out the weekly meeting then we were more righteous than the fledgling ministry that had a mere prayer meeting attended by ten.
We must be careful not to equate bigness with God’s blessing. This is far too reductionistic.
I associated God’s blessing with numerical value. Many churches tout how their church has grown as a result of the fresh, new preacher that is filling their pulpit. Perhaps it is the numerous programs. Maybe the freshness of the service – something new every week! Whatever it may be, the spiritual reason is that people say that “God is really blessing our church.” While this MAY be true, it does not necessitate the fact. Paul warns his spiritual son that in the last days there will be hoards of people who will gather around them people who will scratch their itching ears. In our present-day context, that would mean someone promising exhorbitant wealth and physical prosperity. In essence, it is nothing more than a self-made religion of pulling yourself up out of the miry clay. Was it not David who readily acknowledged that it was the Lord who pulled him out of the miry bog?
We need to grasp the humility of the rural churches of a century ago. We need to be able to sympathize with Israel, who was not chosen by their greatness but due to their insignificance.