Our visits with the church are going well. We meet each night for Bible study and stay around to visit, talk and know one another. On a busy weeknight it takes about 45 – 50 minutes for us to get to the meeting place. Half of that time is spent on the Metro system.
It was even colder last night than the photo would suggest. We were quite ready to get underground and out of the wind.
Several in the congregation have commented on the difficulty of numerical growth. It has not been for a lack of effort. As Jesus described in the Parable of the Sower, all we can do is spread the seed of the Word. What happens afterward is largely determined by a person’s own heart.
I spoke last night on how we should measure growth in a church. It is not simply a matter of conversions. The Bible instructs us to grow in love, in grace, in knowledge, in understanding, in patience, in truth, in self-control, in virtue, in kindness… among other qualities. If we focus primarily on numbers, we may overlook a larger aspect of evangelism. Many of Paul’s travels took him to churches that were already established. His evangelism in those places aimed to strengthen, encourage and build up those who had obeyed the Gospel. A small church consisting of strong, mature Christians may be a brighter light than a large congregation lacking such strength in its members.