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The Number Game: A Threat to Churches Large & Small

In churches, like human bodies, not all growth is healthy.

Lucy finally met him face to face among the trees in the soft moonlight. She had seen the great lion earlier but had been dissuaded from following him by the taunts of her friends. Now the lion Aslan, after a gentle rebuke, tells her what she must do- "Go and wake the others and tell them to follow. If they will not, then you at least must follow me alone."

In my office hangs a large sketch of a lion that perfectly depicts this scene from C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. The eyes of the lion, who symbolizes Christ, seem to plead, "Why won't you simply follow me and not worry about what others think?' I've needed that encouragement and correction over the last two years as I've pioneered a new church.

Like the time five people showed up for a Sunday morning service for which I had prepared a keynote sermon on that body's development-and two of those were visitors. At home I went into my study and wept. Not for ministry lost, not for the needs of people-but in anguish that others would ...

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