When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
When Jesus fed the five thousand, He was as concerned with the fragments that remained as He was with the five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus desired that nothing be lost. He understood that keeping the fragments always gives you more than the five loaves of bread and two fish.
Several principles are critical to building a church. One thing many churches do to help grow is to have a big day. I believe it is critical to the faith of the church to attempt a big day at least once a year. Your church will see God do the miraculous when you attempt something great for Him. One reason you have a big day is so that many will get saved. Another reason to have a big day is so that you can get many visitors who become new prospects for new church growth.
Sadly, one of the things that many don’t like talking about in church growth is that you do lose people. If the church is not regularly adding to its body, it will eventually die by those who leave. Although, we don’t want anyone to leave, it is a part of church work that anyone who has been a part of a church for years understands. We ought not to accept the fact that we will lose people. Just like Jesus, we ought to be concerned with gathering the fragments so that the church continues to grow. Let me explain how the church can gather the remaining fragments.
First, everyone in the church must be a soul winner. You cannot add to the church if you are not actively winning people to Christ. The way to overcome the loss of people in the church is to replace them through soul winning. If you are not trying to add to your church through soul winning, you are contributing to the loss and death of your church. Everyone must be involved in soul winning because God adds to the church through soul winning.
Second, you gather the remaining fragments through the Sunday school. Sunday school is essential to church growth. To think that Sunday school is no longer relevant in church work is to say that teaching God’s Word is no longer relevant. Sunday school is the teaching arm of the church, and everyone should be involved in Sunday school. You should be involved by teaching a class or by being an active member of a Sunday school class. Sunday school has a way of seeing the church in smaller fragments, so that when one fragment begins to slip away, the class or teacher can try to get them back into the church. The Sunday school is the arm of the church that helps gather the fragments that remain.
Third, every church member must be involved in finding those who are slipping away and try to bring them back to church. You need to be aware of everyone in the church. You can help your pastor by seeing those who are missing church, and try to encourage them to come back to church. The larger the church becomes, the harder it is to see who is missing. If every church member looked in their section of the church and saw who is missing and tried to get them back into church, you could keep your church from losing the fragments.
Are you gathering the fragments that remain? If you love your God and church, you will do your best to bring people back who are missing so we don’t lose the remaining fragments.