Influence is greater than numbers. The question is not, "How big is your church?" The real question is, "How is your church's influence?"
You could be twelve people, and salt the world with the good news of the Kingdom. You could be twelve hundred, and be an audience inside a saltshaker.
How is your influence going? Which way is it going? Because of you, are people better, or worse?
Every father influences his children, for worse, or for better. My father influenced me for better.
I remember seeing dad read his Bible, usually in the evening before he went to bed. Dad read his Bible so much that his thumb wore through the leather cover. I have it now. Here it is.
I received my own leather-covered Bible when I was confirmed in our Lutheran Church. I was twelve years old. My mother put my Bible somewhere - I didn't know where and I did not care. I never picked it up and read it.
Until I was 21. That's when Jesus rescued me out of a deep enslavement to evil. My life began to change for the better! And, I needed a Bible.
I drove to my parents' home. I asked, "Mom, do you know where my Bible is?"
She got it for me. I began to read. And read. I wore the leather out on it so much that the cover finally broke off. I still have this Bible. Here it is.
Like father, like son, right?
As the apostle Paul wrote:
Follow my example,
as I follow the example of Christ.
1 Cor. 11:1
Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters,
and just as you have us as a model,
keep your eyes on those who live as we do.