We are finishing up Vacation Bible School at our church tonight. I must admit that I was disappointed with the numbers of the students that we had in attendance. I thought that we had done all of the right things. We advertised and even invited the congregation to help with all of the PR “stuff” to help spread the word. I hoped for at least 20 kids and we wound up with 10.
While I was banging my head against a wall trying to figure out what I did wrong, I was reminded that it is not the numbers that count as much as the actual ministry that is taking place. We had a youth group from a larger nearby town come in and lead the VBS. We provided the place by which the youth program could minister. They, middle school and high school aged students, are doing a wonderful job teaching our younger children about the wonders of God.
One of the boys who regularly attends our church is normally shy. This week, I have seen him come out of his shell and have a great time. It does my heart well to see excitement in the lives of both our guests and the children in our community. This boy reminds me that, even if he were the only child attending the camp, it was worth it for one soul.
I hope I can always remain focused on winning souls and not be so worried about numbers. Perhaps the lower numbers in our church are occurring at this particular moment in time to remind me that it is about ministry to those present. While it is great to have hopes and dreams, it is far more valuable to simply serve God. “But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt 6:33 NRSV).