Glorified Littleness
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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 concept that "small is beautiful" or "glorified littleness." "Glorified littleness" argues that numbers of people are not important, it is the spirit or the atmosphere in a church that counts. "Where two or three are gathered," this approach says, "then there is the church." In this respect, David Pawson (1930- ) the prominent British Bible teacher wrote, "We have glorified littleness."

Counting in the Bible

Day of PentecostIt is interesting to note the attention the Bible gave to counting people. Not only was there an Old Testament book named "Numbers" but Gideon, David and others carefully counted the number of people in Israel. Jesus himself was introduced to us at Bethlehem where his parents had gone because of a census which was a counting of the number of the people in each district by the Roman authorities. Numbers were everywhere in the Bible. We read of the "twelve Apostles," and "the feeding of the five thousand" in Matthew 14.13-21 and in Matthew 15.29-39 "the feeding of the four thousand." Then the church counted five hundred in 1 Corinthians 15.6 who met Jesus after the resurrection. Jesus certainly did not glorify littleness but instead glorified growth. "Somebody on the day of Pentecost was so full of the Spirit," writes the prominent British Bible teacher David Pawson, (1930- ), "that they counted heads!" David Pawson also wrote the masterful book, "Unlocking the Bible." Saint Peter counted the fish as he pulled them out of a net according to John 21.11, "So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of 153 large fish, but even with so many the net was not torn." Peter or someone else 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.

"Glorified Littleness"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2018

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