Church Glorified Littleness
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Church Glorified Littleness
Page 20

Counting People

numbersWhen new people begin attending a church, there is a tendency among existing members to resist them. This is often founded upon the mistaken and subtly deceptive notion in regards to the local church that "small was beautiful" or as it has been described elsewhere "glorified littleness." "Glorified littleness" argues that numbers of people are not important, it is the spirit or the atmosphere in a church that counts. "Littleness" is defined as "The state or quality of being little; as, the littleness of size, thought, duration, power, etc." Easton's Bible Dictionary tells us of a place called "Littleness which is a city in the mountains of Judah the modern Si'air, 4 1/2 miles north-north-east of Hebron." It is apparently mentioned in Joshua 15.54 "And Humtah, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, and Zior; nine cities with their villages." Jesus said in Matthew 18.20 "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." This is often misquoted as, "For where two or three gather in my name, then there is the church." In this respect, David Pawson (1930-present) the prominent British Bible teacher and author of thirty books wrote of the modern church, "We have glorified littleness."


Day Of PentecostIt is interesting to note the attention the Bible gives to counting in general and counting people in particular. Not only is there an Old Testament book named "Numbers" but Gideon, David and others carefully counted the number of people in Israel. Jesus himself is introduced to us at Bethlehem where his parents had gone because of a census which was counting of the number of the people in each district by the Roman authorities. Numbers of people are recorded everywhere in the Bible. We read of the "Twelve Apostles," and "the feeding of the five thousand" in Matthew 14.13-21. In Matthew 15.29-39 we find "the feeding of the four thousand." The church counted five hundred in 1 Corinthians 15.6 who met Jesus after the resurrection. Jesus certainly did not glorify littleness but instead delighted in growth. "Somebody on the day of Pentecost was so full of the Spirit," wrote David Pawson, (1930-present), "that they counted heads!" David Pawson also wrote the masterful book surveying the whole of Scripture, "Unlocking the Bible." Saint Peter counted the fish as he pulled them out of his net according to John 21.11, "So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of one hundred and fifty-three large fish, but even with so many the net was not torn." Peter or someone nearby must have meticulously counted the number "one hundred and fifty-three" one by one! The Early Church certainly took great pride in counting the number of people who committed themselves to Christ and so should we!✞

"Church Glorified Littleness"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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