As you prepare for your worship service tomorrow take a few moments to reflect on your congregation. Most of my readers will be preaching to or sitting in congregations numbering between 20-50 people. The facilities may be dated, the choir small, and the hymnbooks worn. Many in the congregation may have gray hair or good hairdressers. Some may sit there remembering when things were better in the church. There are a number of things that may discourage or disappoint you, but there are some things you should remember.
Each person gathered tomorrow comes to worship God in a way that will be meaningful to him or her. They have walked with God through both good times and bad, and there will be some there tomorrow going through such times now in their lives. They will come with prayer concerns and praise reports, and as a family it is important to hear those. They come wanting to hear a message that will offer them hope and encouragement for whatever it is they are facing in their lives. They come wanting to meet God, and the good news is that He will be there to meet them.
It is so easy to become so focused on all the things we don't have or can't do in our smaller churches that we forget all that is available to us. As I recently read, many small congregations need to move from a scarcity mentality to an abundance mentality. Our numbers have no bearing on what God can do in the life of our church and our congregation.
Make tomorrow a day of celebration, a day of encouragement and hope! Celebrate the God of creation who gives new life to all who ask. Celebrate the victories won during the past week, and celebrate the presence of God in current struggles. Tomorrow, let all that have breath praise the Lord so people leave your place of worship refreshed, renewed, and re-filled with hope. Your worship service tomorrow is a day of wonderful possibilities. Make the best of those possibilities.