In Matthew 25:14 Jesus begins His discourse on the parable of the five talents. In verse 15:
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made [them] other five talents.
Mat 25:17 And likewise he that [had received] two, he also gained other two.
Mat 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
Mat 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
Mat 25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
Mat 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
Mat 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
Mat 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, [there] thou hast [that is] thine.
Mat 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, [Thou] wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Mat 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and [then] at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Mat 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give [it] unto him which hath ten talents.
Mat 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
I am all for the church being the biggest and the best, and the most cutting edge in technology, finance, beauty, activity, etc. I am very thankful for the numerical growth I have seen in churches over the last several years. One of the greatest challenges we face in America is to redeem our culture, in the midst of the chaos that surrounds Washington.
But in the pressure to build the biggest church, have the largest youth group, incorporate the most cutting edge technology, there are a lot of pastors who are discouraged because their churches are not growing as fast as others, and they feel like a failure in light of how God is blessings others. This creates what I call a spirit of disqualification.
What if you do everything right, and your church still does not grow past 100? What if you do everything right and your youth group or Sunday School never grows past 30?
Please don't misunderstand: I'm not saying we should settle for smallness, when God has called us all to greatness!
But when we stand before God He is not going to be impressed that I have traveled around the world and preached the Gospel; He's not going to be impressed with how many times I preached in a year or how large my church was. He will say one of two things:
1.Depart from me you worker of iniquity;
2. Well done good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, He will make you ruler over many!
What I'm saying is this:
Do all you can to grow as an individual, and as a leader and as a church: but if things are not growing as fast as the church growth models indicate you should be, keep in mind God is looking for faithfulness!
All the individuals received according to their abilities: God did not rebuke the man who was only able to gain two extra talents for only getting two: the man who suffered was the one who hid the gift!
What do you have?
Be faithful to use what you have!