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Is Your Church a Spiritual Superpower?

Monday, November 27, 2023

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“More is expected of a church than of an ordinary household.” – C.H. Spurgeon

I was one of six children born to William and June Glading. As such, there was always someone to play with – or fight with – when we were growing up. For the most part, the six siblings got along very well and could always be counted on in a time of need.

However, two parents and six kids can only accomplish so much. Just imagine if our family had been twice as large… or ten times bigger? Instead of having two teachers in the family, we may have had 12. And instead of one minister and one professional entertainer, we might have had a half dozen of each.

That is one of the beauties – and hidden strengths – of the local church. According to the Hartford Institute for Religious Research and the National Congregations Study, the median church in America has 75 members. The average church size is much higher at 186 attendees, a figure that is somewhat skewed by mega churches. For instance, 50% of all churchgoers attend a congregation of 350 or more, whereas small churches account for just 11% of overall membership.

Whether we take the median number (75) or the average number (186), just imagine the skills and resources that even the smallest church in America possesses. The talents and even the spiritual gifts of Noreen, Scott, Gary, Chery, Dale, and Diane Glading would pale in comparison.

There are two keys to a church’s success in this regard: everyone pitching in and everyone pulling in the same direction. It doesn’t do any good for a church to have a bounty of blessings at its disposal if only a handful of parishioners are willing to actively participate. Rolling into the church parking lot on a Sunday morning is one thing, but rolling up your sleeves and getting involved is another.

Likewise, an “all for one and one for all” mentality can make even the tiniest church a spiritual superpower. I guess that’s why in His high priestly prayer on the night He was betrayed, Jesus’s #1 priority for His disciples was unity.

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one— I in them and You in Me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” John 17:20-23 (NIV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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