(I love me a titillating blog title, don’t you?)
The organic church I am blessed to be a part of has been growing as of late. We have had many guests. Some stay. Some do not. We have also had a few other organic church or house churches visit us.
Some have come just to observe. Some have come to be equipped. Some have come to simply be filled up.
After our “Jesus meeting” one Saturday, I was saying goodbye to a man in his twenties whom the Lord has called to shepherd a flock in a newly forming organic church. While wishing him a goodnight, I told him that Jonathan and I would love to come visit their meeting sometime.
He hesitated for a brief second and said “Well, we are small…nothing like this,” referring to the church body that gathers in my home with upwards of 60 people some weeks.
“Don’t say that,” I told him. “It is not small in God’s eyes.”
He looked at me. “You’re right,” he said quickly, catching his mistake. “It’s not small in God’s eyes. I have to remember that.”
“It has often been that the greatest thing of God has been very small in the eyes of man.” T. Austin Sparks
And what of the measure of man? We qualify and quantify. We scale and size. We expand and encroach. And for what? To look better. Be faster. Stand taller. Seat more. Sell more. Say more.
I struggled for a time when we first planted our organic church. “Grow!” I thought. “Explode! Let’s show this world just how amazing you are.” But, as I settled my spirit and allowed God to quiet my flesh, I could then hear the Lord whisper, “Grow…in maturity. Explode…in love for one another. Show Me how much you love Me.”
And so we did. We never worried nor wondered about how or when our little church would grow. We never plotted or planned in an attempt to “reach more people.”
We, instead, devoted ourselves daily to the people we were already entrusted with–our spiritual family. Our brothers and sisters.
Now, as our roots have grown deep and we have walked through painful dry valleys together, it is now that the Lord has caused the growth. We embrace it because we know it is His timing, not ours. We know it is His measurement, not ours.
I have long felt like my little life was just that…little. Trivial. Worthless. But oh how wrong I have been. How pitiful and wasteful it was for me to ever think that my little life was anything but powerful and abundant IN CHRIST. I am not a faceless minion, but rather a crowned heir to the King.
And so are you.
So I ask you, what has seemed small and insignificant in your life that is not? What lie have you believed? Who or what has told you that this small, perhaps delicate seed that you hold is useless or powerless or fruitless?
Because in the eyes of the King, it is not. He sees it for what it is, no matter its size. He sees the depth of a thing, the length and expanse, the promise and the tomorrow. He has not forgotten. His word still stands.
The world may mock you. They may tell you, you don’t measure up and you never will. But, you are measured by God’s standards. He sees what we cannot. It is not small in the eyes of the Lord. Be assured and be of hope.
12 thoughts on “Size Doesn’t Matter”
Size truly has no relevance when Christ is building His body, or bringing His expression together it’s not numbers, it’s the freedom He had to express Himself that truly matters. The shepherd king David comes to mind. The widows mite, and Paul’s ministry of Love are small in human terms, but in His eyes there is a different perspective.
Good to see ya posting Nicole!
I also am glad to see your post again, thanks. I have been struggling as of late, with an issue of “littleness”. I recently have had a desire/burden, to bring shoes to the homeless, and I am struggling with, is it really the Lord inspiration, and will it even matter, simply because it would not be on any grand scale. Your sharing did not directly address this, it did however give me some encouragement to continue to seek the Lord on this “small” matter. Thank you Nicole.
PS- have you ever heard the song by Charlie Dodrill called “Littleness” ?
Speaking of timing, God timed this message perfectly for me. I needed to hear this right now.
What have you been made to feel was small, insignificant, or worthless when in fact, it is not? What has God told you?
Nothing. And the reason for this is because of the answer to your second question, which is:
Our Father has shown me, told me, demonstrated to me the identity of sonship He has so gently placed upon my shoulders. It sounds impossible and even boastful, but I must openly confess and affirm to any who would listen that sonship in Christ Jesus is like impenetrable armor. It is because of sonship, and being shown the fullness therein, that I no longer have certain doubts or questions about God our Father. It is liberating, indeed. It is something I would hope for each and every covenant believer, regardless of natural gender.
Many preach/teach “victory in Jesus”, but I look at it as simply walking in the sonship He has not only shown but that our Father has bestowed upon us through the New Covenant. When doubt comes now, it must stand toe-to-toe with Jesus on my life. When fear comes it must deal with Jesus on my life. When ridicule, mockery, belittlement, and those late-night whispers of the enemy that seek to enslave us and render us spiritually impotent come into the sphere of influence that our Father has so graciously given me to steward, those things come up against Him. Needless to say, they lose each and every time.
Sonship. Identity. His words over us. His mantle on us. His Spirit in us. Doubt? Fear? Those things can go straight to Hell, thank you very much. I am here to be about my Father’s business, and I just ain’t got the time to deal with the enemy’s petty nonsense.
Boom. Believe it.
I understand all that you have said here and I have to confess that you may be one of the only doubt-free-Christians alive. Ha ha! I agree wholeheartedly that our doubt must stand “to-to-toe with Jesus.” I like that image very much. But, I also know from personal experience and watching my fellow brothers and sisters wade through the waters of doubt and “smallness” that for many of us it is a process. Yes, it sounds cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Has the Spirit supernaturally changed my patterns of thinking in one instant? Yes, He has. Has He also graciously and patiently brought me through a process of healing that in doing so illuminated His love while also conquering my inner fears? Yes, he has.
While this post isn’t expressly about doubt, I have come to believe that God honors doubt. Or rather, He isn’t threatened by it. He responds to the doubter with even greater grace. Some of scriptures greatest doubters are my reminders of God’s redemption: Jeremiah, Abraham, Thomas.
The point of this post, however, was really just to say that the “small things” in our lives are mighty in God’s. Things like our role as parents, when the monotony of the being a stay-home mom wears on me, Jesus reminds me that I am not just a diaper changer, but rather a discipler. When I wish more people could hear His messages of freedom and hope, He shows me the faces of those who have and their multiplication in the Kingdom. And so on…
Paul of Tarsus only planted 15 “organic style” churches in his lifetime. By man’s standards today, that ain’t much…small groups of people meeting in homes. Big deal. But we know the impact and reach those churches had. Paul finished his ministry feeling that he had done all he could do. Size didn’t matter, what God said did.
If I said He has shown me great grace in that He has taken my smallness away and replaced it with His mightiness, would that make sense to you? It is impossible for me to relate to Him when I am in the way, so He removed me from that equation.
THIS is what He offers us one and all. THIS is what His heart is. There is a difference between reveling in weakness so others can join with us in familiarity, as opposed to actually prompting others to surpass the cliched weaknesses we cling to for familiarity. One has the appearance of spirituality, while the other has His Spirit all over it.
You joked that I might be the only “doubt-free Christians” alive. I get that, I do. If I could have one request granted to me by our Father, it would be that all doubt would be removed from the lives of all His children so that we could focus on Him and not on ourselves. It’s quite liberating, and it creates a posture of heart and spirit that many simply smile politely at and nod their heads to, but they never actually believe it can happen so they resign themselves to being the best people they can be while refusing to be the best people our Father wants them to be.
This is so pertinent to my life at the moment – bless you.
I needed this reminder…. I have been struggling a lot with the size of my reach with the story God has given me, and feeling like if the audience is small it may mean that it’s not worthy or really not what He wants me doing. But, I hear from people that I have an impact on, and need the constant reminder that if our story reaches one person, that person matters enough to God to have been worth the work.
I have to remind myself of this all the time because the things that I have accomplished in my life feel so small compared to all the things I want to do. People are always congratulating me on all that I have done but it only makes me think of all the things that I thought I would have done by now. But I know that God has good timing and I know that even making a difference in just one person’s life is a BIG DEAL. I am grateful to have served God in all the ways I have so far and am excited to keep serving Him even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.
oh how my heart needed this just now. xoxo —kris
It is often tempting to feel small because of my lack of immediate family or singleness. God has given me the gift of singleness, yet I am often ungrateful and complaining. This is God’s plan for me right now, maybe forever. I’ve been meditating a lot on I Thessalonians 5:18. God is teaching me more thankfulness.
I just caught up on this, and I love it. I want to sit with this a bit, and think about the ways that I strive for big, when I shouldn’t, what God can do with small, and how it can sometimes bring more glory, just for that very reason.