When it comes to the size of a church, it’s important to remember that God’s love is not based on the size of the congregation. As Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Therefore, the size of a church doesn’t determine its value in God’s eyes.
However, there are certain characteristics that God desires in His church, regardless of its size. Let’s look at some of the teachings from the New Testament that highlight what God approves of in a church.
- The Church is the Body of Christ: The New Testament teaches that the Church is not just a building or an organization, but a living organism made up of individual believers who are all part of the Body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 says, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” God wants His church to function as a unified body, with each member playing a unique and important role.
- Love: The New Testament emphasizes the importance of love in the church. Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). Love is not just a feeling but an action. We are called to love one another sacrificially, just as Christ loved us. This kind of love is not limited to those within the church, but extends to all people, even our enemies (Matthew 5:44).
- Worship: The Church is called to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24). This involves not just singing songs, but offering our whole lives as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1). In worship, we acknowledge God’s greatness, express our gratitude, and seek His will for our lives.
- The Word of God: The New Testament teaches that the Word of God is essential for the health and growth of the church. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The preaching and teaching of the Bible should be central to the life of the church, as it provides the foundation for our faith and guides us in how we should live.
- Mission: God desires His church to be on mission, sharing the Gospel with those who have not yet heard it. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gives the Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This mission should be carried out both locally and globally, as we seek to reach people from all backgrounds and cultures.
God’s desire for His church is not based on its size or outward appearance, but on its inward characteristics. A healthy church is one that functions as the Body of Christ, loves sacrificially, worships in spirit and truth, is grounded in the Word of God, and is on mission to reach the lost. As we seek to follow these teachings, we can trust that God will bless and use our churches, regardless of their size.