I have done workshops where one person showed up. Was that a success? My answer is, yep.
Large group activities are great for getting the juices flowing. Not so good for life change. There is no life connection with the speaker. It is easy to listen and not really interact with the message. In a small group or one on one situation there is more opportunity for dialog. For processing the Word together, to really make sure understanding is taking place.
Throughout the gospel of Mark Jesus focused on the twelve. He consistently turned away from the crowds and focused on making sure that the twelve understood. Look at Mark 4:33 – 34, the last phrase says it all, “He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.” He shared parables with the crowds. But the twelve got the goods.
We may measure success by the wrong standard. Rather than the number in the seats, perhaps the better measure is the number who really engage and are not only understanding, but actively sharing what they are learning with others.
More observations from Mark tomorrow.