Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And all that is within me,   
bless His holy name.   
Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And forget none of His benefits.   
- Psalms 103:1-2   
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The Size Of The Church

Looking around us we see local churches of all different sizes and makeups. With different sizes or numbers of members in a congregation come different blessings. Let's take some time and look at some of the blessings that come with a small congregation. One benefit of a small church is a closer sense of family. It makes it easier to get to know one another on a more personal basis and to develop relationships. This sense of family brings encouragement and comfort much like the blessings of a physical family. Christ pointed out in His teaching that his family was now comprised of he and his disciples, those who obeyed the will of His Father. Not his physical relatives. Matthew 12:46-50 While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” Another benefit of a small church is the opportunity to grow. With a smaller congregation, the member to role ratio is much smaller making for more individual opportunities to serve God, and in the process, this spurs our individual growth. Nothing will stimulate study and growth more than teaching a class, giving short invitations, leading prayers, writing bulletin articles, visiting the sick, providing transportation or just seeing to those who have need. We must always be aware that we need to grow in service and that another generation that knows God must always be following up this one for service in his Kingdom. In all congregations every member is needed, and with that need comes the fact that you are also missed when you are absent. In order to keep a congregation healthy, we must keep the above mentioned things in mind. We must nurture the sense of family and provide opportunities for growth by allowing and leaving open avenues of service for the members. It is not healthy for a church to depend solely on one or just a few to carry out the work of the church. The needs we have within the church should not be viewed as jobs, but they should be realized as God given opportunities that He has allowed us to serve both Him and a brother or sister. Let's have an attitude of thankfulness when presented with opportunities to serve and look forward to the work of the Lord. Let's put to work our strengths and be aware and improve our weaknesses. John 15:1-2 tells us that we are to be faithful and to produce fruit for Christ. It is truly a blessing to be able to come together as family and be busy in the work of our Lord. One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord. I have loved the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 27:4; 26:8; 23:6; 122:1) - Marc Hopkins