In Luke 14:25-26, the Bible says, "And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."
The Lord Jesus speaks to the multitude and gives to them some very strong words. He tells them what is required to be a disciple! Jesus was not satisfied that the multitudes followed Him; He desired that these people would become servants and disciples.
In our day it seems that so much emphasis is placed on who can gather the biggest multitude. In the process of gathering a multitude, all standards of dress, music, and Bible preaching are thrown out the window! The place where the Word of God was once preached with conviction has now become a place of religious entertainment! However, the Bible teaches us in the Great Commission that we are to be making disciples. Disciples are those who are more than followers of God; they are servants of God. They are more than observers; they are participants. They are more than benchwarmers; they are players in the game! What is our motive in the local church today? Are we working to simply gather a multitude? Or, are we working to reach as many people as possible in the effort to make disciples for Christ?
Before there is a misunderstanding here, and someone says that I am against reaching a multitude of people, let me set this straight: The Bible teaches that we are to go after the multitudes. He tells us, "Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in that my house may be filled." I believe in church growth with the book of Acts as the example.
We have seen our church grow in attendance from a handful to more than 1,500 per Sunday this Fall, with a high day of 2,004. We have been able to start a dozen new churches in the process. I am for church growth. Yet, the gathering of the multitude is not the main purpose. He wants us to make disciples, servants, and workers for Him! From the crowds, from the multitude, we are working to see folks born again, baptized,, and taught to become servants for Christ. We are working for people who are sold-out, separated, and surrendered for the cause of Christ. Perhaps, gathering multitude puts a feather in the cap of the leader; but making disciples brings glory to Christ!
(Brother Souza says "AMEN")