Keep an eye out on the small numbers
Luke 15: 3-7 “Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
You have 99 sheep. You have only lost 1.
Why be concerned about the 1?
The 99 never strayed away, they never got lost and they never gave you any problems.
But this one sheep not only got lost, but you lost it. It may be its own fault for getting lost but you assume the responsibility for it.
If you can apportion blame then you don’t need to do anything, you don’t need to go searching, it is not your fault.
If you can blame it then you can focus on the larger number that is left.
But you don’t.
This sheep is no longer in the safety of the flock.
It began to drift.
It stopped coming to the home-group.
It reduced the Sunday attendances.
Finally it dropped off completely.
Weeks have gone by.
Are you bothered? It is only 1 member, you still have 99.
It is just 1 widow.
1 young person.
1 poor person.
1 not very gifted person.
Are you concerned about the small numbers?
If you want to see growth then don’t be tempted by the largeness of 99 that you forget it is made up of 99 individuals who could all get lost.
To get back to 100, you have to keep an eye on the smallness of one.
This is mission.