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Beautiful Church Growth
Page 21

Reinforced Jesus Teaching

Watching ShepherdThe most damning rebuttal of the "Small is Beautiful" concept in the church comes in our Lord's own parables. The shepherd left the ninety-nine and looked for the one lost sheep. Luke 15.4 contains Jesus teaching, "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" Similarly, the woman in Luke 15.8 who lost one of her ten coins sought diligently until she found it because it was precious to her, maybe even part of her wedding headdress. The scripture reads, "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn't she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?" The "silver coins" mentioned were "drachmas" in Greek and were each worth a day's wages! This was no small loss for her! The "Small is Beautiful" approach however would have probably written off the loss!

Glorified Littleness

In the parable of the stewards in Matthew 5.14, Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." This further emphasizes Jesus teaching that growth was an important element in God's work. In this parable, the master left his stewards in charge of his wealth and then when he returned expected to see some addition in his investment. Those who doubled their accounts of five thousand and two thousand silver coins were congratulated on this growth as good and faithful servants, whereas the person who merely hid his portion in the ground was condemned. Note that the one who increased was called "the faithful steward." Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 4.1, "You should think of us as Christ's servants, who have been put in charge of God's secret truths. The one thing required of such a servant is that he is faithful to his master."

"Beautiful Church Growth"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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