Judges 7:15 “And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.”
When God chose Gideon to be the leader to deliver Israel from the hand of the Midianites, he did not have a large army. Gideon only had three hundred men in his army. These three hundred men were no comparison to the great Midianite army, but with the character of these men, God delivered this great foe into the hand of Gideon.
When I look at the story of Gideon, I am reminded of many small churches that look at building a great work as insurmountable. When I took over the church where I am presently pastoring, I only had nine soul winners out for the first Saturday of soul winning. We didn't have a large church at all, but I knew that with the people we had and their character that God could do miraculous things through us, and He has. When you look at the type of men that God wanted Gideon to use in his army, their character shows what it takes for a small church to grow into a great army to reach their city for Christ. Let me share the character attributes of these men.
First, it takes a people of faith. In verse 3, God told Gideon to tell all those who were “fearful and afraid” to go home. It always takes a people of faith to do a great work for God. People of fear will quit because they allow the voices of fear to stop them when they have to go forward. There will always be something to be afraid of, and that is why you must let faith dictate your directives and not fear. When faith dictates your directives, you will find that faith never tells you to quit or retreat, but go forward and trust that God will deliver you.
Second, it takes a preaching people. In verse 16, God wanted the people to carry a trumpet. The trumpet has always been a symbol of preaching. If a small church is going to grow into a large army, the people of the church must be a soul-winning people. You will never build a great work on the old paths without being a soul-winning church. God never gives an increase to a church that has lost its first love. You may not be the best trumpet player, but you can sound the trumpet of the Gospel to every person you see so that God can do His part in saving their soul. Don't worry about how good of a soul winner you are; just give out the Gospel.
Third, it takes empty vessels that can be filled with the Holy Ghost. God wanted these men to have “empty pitchers” in hand. You cannot do the work of God in your own power and build a great church. Doing God’s work without God’s power will leave you empty and broken.
Fourth, it takes a walk with God for a small church to be built into a large army. Gideon’s men were also to have “lamps” within the pitchers. God’s Word is the lamp, and you must be a believer of the Word so God can use His Word in your life with the power of the Holy Ghost to reach others.
Fifth, it takes a loyalty to the man of God to build a small church into a large army. Gideon told the men in verse 17, “…Look on me, and do likewise…” You won't build a large army without following your preacher. God always uses a man of God to build a great army; the question is, are you willing to follow him as God leads him? If you are, you can be part of the army that God will use to building your church into a great army to reach your city for Christ.