Picture a home builder that needs to support about 100,000 pounds of house. If he has just one support beam under that load, that one beam has to support it all - all 100,000 pounds. Say he configures the plan to call for ten support beams - each one only has to support 10,000 pounds. But increase the number of beams to 20, and now these beams can enjoy a 5,000 pound walk in the park. I know you can do this simple math, and so what was the point of this elementary math lesson?
If we were to quantify the ministry that is to be done in the local church in terms of man hours, or the funds that it will take to help God’s work in the local church flourish, and place all of that responsibility on the shoulders of one person - wow! The person is going to crumble. Even if someone could sustain the load for 3 seconds, they are toast afterward.
Suppose you were able to find a half dozen families to bear the burden - you would be doing remarkably well for an American congregation. This issue gets a little bit into the 90-10 rule - 90% of the work is done by 10% of the people.
But here’s my thesis for this post: Humanly speaking, the smaller your church, the more your church needs you. Why did I say “humanly speaking?” Because God can feed 5,000 people with a youth’s lunch. God can defeat the entire nation of Midian using an inexperienced general named Gideon and 300 misfits. Humanly speaking, though, if you blow off your ministry area one week in a church of 1,000 people, odds are that there is at least one warm bodied human that can fill the gap you irresponsibly left. However, if you blow off your ministry area one week in a church of 60 people, especially if the church is 70% invalids, your irresponsibility will likely cripple the work of God in that church that week. It is simple math.
As Paul said, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you.’ Nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” (1 Cor 12:21) Biblically speaking, large churches truly do need everyone fully committed also. But humanly speaking, the smaller your church - the more they need you.