One of the patterns we see in Jesus’ ministry is His cultivation of a tightly knit group of friends and compassion for the masses. This is Jesus’ program for Church growth. He doesn’t hire marketing professionals, have a makeover and start a new building campaign. He spends a lot of time alone in the wilderness and in the mountains praying. He spends time with his closest friends explaining how the kingdom is coming and what it is like. And when he teaches people, he gives them instructions for being faithful where they are now. He tells them enigmatic stories and parables and leaves lots of people confused about who He is and what He stands for. And at the same time, He is constantly healing and showing compassion to those in need. But Jesus shows no signs of being concerned about the growth of His movement. And compared to our standards, his program should be a complete flop. But we know that the Christian Church is the living Body of Christ. It is not a corporate business. It is not a social club or a political lobbying group. We are the Body of Christ gathered into one loaf, gathered into the fellowship of the Trinity with all of the faithful throughout the world. And our calling and mission is simple: Worship God here with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbors here, in your homes, and down your street and at work, showing compassion and mercy to those in need. Throw all of your cares, worries and concerns on Him: Give yourself to prayer. You are His Body, and He is the head. And He’s doing as He pleases. Be faithful with what you have been given; don’t judge those around you based on how well you think they are doing. Remember that the standard with which you judge you will be judged. Imitate your Savior: cultivate community here and in your homes with all gratitude. Be thankful and faithful where you are now. And let God work out the details.