After several years of continuous growth, our worship attendance plateaued, so a worried pastor friend approached me. He was trying to help, but it felt like Job’s comforters.
“Aren’t you concerned about saturation?” he intoned, “After all, Hayward is a very small town. Maybe you’re at the spot where you’re not going to reach any more people. There are only so many fish in the pond, you know.”
I’d never considered it, but now that the “S-word” was spoken, it sank like a brick in my spirit.
I went home depressed, and told Cathy, “My friend thinks we’ve hit saturation. We’re not going to grow any more. I guess we’ll have to spend the rest of our days just propping up the people we’ve already got.”
“It’s God’s church, not yours,” Cathy reminded me, “Your job is to plant, water and weed. The harvest is up to Him. Don’t fret about it. I’m sure He still has plenty of reaping for you to do.” I wasn’t quite convinced.
The next morning, I found myself moaning to God about our saturation. “Why did you stick me with this?” I complained.
Then, the light bulb turned on. The word saturation means to be filled and overflowing.
Do I want my people to be saturated with God’s presence, promise, peace and power? Absolutely! Are they there yet? Not quite! There’s still plenty of work to do!
Do I desire our congregation to saturate the community with compassion, blessing, righteousness and glory? You bet! Has this been accomplished? Not yet! Plenty of work on that front too!
Are there still people in our community lost without Jesus? Ten times more than all the sanctuaries in town combined can hold! Do we quit picking berries just because the easy ones are already plucked? No way! Do we stop fishing when the biting is slow? Not on your life! Keep picking! Keep fishing! There’s still plenty of work to do!
As long as one unreached person remains in our community, then our church isn’t big enough! We must never settle! One lost sheep means keep on seeking. Our job isn’t close to completion.
The next time a worried pastor asks if saturation concerns me, I’ll say, “Absolutely! It’s what I’ve been praying for! Bring it on!”