Size Matters? (3)

So for the first few years of Forefront I was always distressed by the fact that we were losing people. Some would come, never make a commitment, and then disappear. Some would come, make a commitment, and then fade away. And every time I felt responsible and horrible. I thought we should be able to keep everyone.

Then one day I was struck by this thought: Vince, do you think Jesus was wrong, or a liar? And then I was like, What are you talking about Vince? Then I thought about the parable of the sower, where Jesus talks about four different types of people being exposed to the gospel, and three out of the four fall away. So did I think Jesus was wrong, or a liar?

Then I started thinking about churches where basically the same 200 people have been in the church for the last 20 years. And I thought, How come they aren’t losing people? And I realized, It’s because that’s not a church where the gospel is being planted in new soil. When you have a bunch of people where the gospel is already planted and growing, that’s different. But when you’re putting the gospel in new soil, well, Jesus told us what would happen. I think we can expect that probably about 3 out of 4 will fall away.

That doesn’t make it any less sad when someone falls away, and I still want to keep everyone, but it does make me feel a little less responsible. In fact, I’ve come to think that maybe the real danger sign for a church is when no one is leaving and no one is falling away.

What do you think?