1. I admit that numbers do either encourage or discourage a pastor. No pastor wants the building to be emtpy on Sunday morning. And virtually all pastors would rejoice when it is full. I knew our numbers would be down in view several members being absent to attend an out of town wedding on Saturday. In addition to this we had a few out for vacation.
It seemed like our building was a ghost town just five minutes before sunday school was to begin. I prayed that God turn this discouragement for good quickly before class started. As our class began, more and more people just kept pouring in that we had to change rooms with another class. It was so encouraging to see God answer prayer so quickly.
2. It was also encouraging to hear that one of our visitors was recommended to us as a good small church. The visitor had inquired about churches she should attend, and a few of the large churches were recommended first, but when a smaller church needed to be recommeded, ours was mentioned. This is very encouraging.
3. A final word about the encouragement that I regularly receive at Westwood and I know that others do as well. The fellowship of members beyond our gatherings is great. This is often non-existent in some churches as people go their separate ways after the gatherings. But many at Westwood continue in fellowship each week beyond those times. And it has greatly contributed to the spirit and unity of our congregation.
I thank God for the fellowship of his family.