More people in the pews means more people are hearing the gospel, which means there’s a greater chance more people might respond to the gospel. But I’ve learned—okay, I’m learning—that I’m not performing before an audience, I’m worshipping an audience of One. Remembering this immutable truth has freed my preaching, but it’s also added far more weight.
A confession: When it comes to preaching, I used to care far too much about the number of people in the pews. Sure, I passed this off as a concern for the number of people hearing the gospel. My focus, however, was mostly on how many people were hearing me.
When I’d get a chance to preach somewhere where I knew the crowd would be small, I’d simply re-heat an old message. But if I knew a venue would present a bigger crowd, I’d take the time to put in a lot of work.
But yeah, more people would be hearing the gospel in this larger location, right? That was my excuse, at least.
And at my church? I couldn’t re-heat old messages because we go verse-by-verse through books of the Bible. I must confess, however, I struggled here too.
If I knew we’d have more folks in attendance on a Sunday morning (such as on a holiday), I’d have more butterflies in my stomach because I could perform before more people.
Wait, I mean, more people would hear the gospel.