I absolutely LOVED this post by Richard Heyduck, a UMC pastor in Texas. He's from a church with 203 people and recently read my post about Granger seeing 942 people give their lives to Christ in 2006. He didn't get depressed by that stat. He didn't get jealous. He didn't mope around or wonder why God stuck him in a small town in Texas.
Instead, he was challenged. He asked, "What if God could do the same thing here? What if we could have, proportionately, the same number of people meet Christ in our county?" Doing the math, they would have 34 salvation decisions in 2007. This would be a HUGE goal for them, but he challenged his people to the task. And he did it in a loving way, full of vision.
And, in doing so, I think he challenged churches all across America. When you see stats from churches larger than you, are you depressed, or are you challenged? When you hear of a church growing by hundreds every year, do you criticize what they are doing or plan a trip to study what they are doing?
These aren't just questions for small churches. We all face the same choice--hear good news from another church and be challenged, or be depressed.
Thanks, Richard, for giving us a great example.