Last week was Vacation Bible School and my church. It was a great time. If I could brag on my church for a moment, we do an awesome VBS. It is well put together and fun. We are decorated to the max and we do everything we can to make it a special week. The kids that come have a fantastic time and their parents are so grateful.
I am always a little frustrated, however, that more kids don’t come. We have about 20-25 kids a night. Now I realize that a lot of churches are not even doing VBS anymore and few have the large numbers of 20 years ago. Still, it is frustrating sometimes.
Sunday morning can be the same thing for me. I see lots of space in the pews and I can think of many people that need to be there. I try to “bring the heat” every Sunday but it gets frustrating sometimes.
As I was thinking about the numbers at VBS I was also studying for a sermon on several of the kingdom parables of Matthew 13. One of them says:
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32 ESV)
God’s Kingdom starts small and grows slowly. Why, then, do I want larger numbers of “nickels and noses.” I hope that I want them because I want to touch more people with the gospel, but I fear that sometimes it is my own pride and ambition that really drives my desire for bigger.
But what if the very nature of Kingdom is that it is small?