Preach to a thousand people

Jeremiah Thomas
4 min readMay 3, 2017

When my wife and I started the church, there were only a handful of people that showed up to our first service. For the first few months, we had people visit and check us out, some would stay and some would never come back.

In the beginning months, sometimes we had fewer people attend our Sunday services than we had at our very first service.

I’m going to tell you something that is very important regardless of what you are doing. Whether it is business, ministry, or something else- this will help you.

Regardless of where you locate yourself right now in the process of achieving your goals, act as if you are way further along than you already are.

Before I tell you what I mean by that statement, let me tell you what I don’t mean. I don’t mean that you should be ignorant about what you currently see in front of you. I also don’t mean that you should be arrogant about the destination that you are heading to. What does this mean practically?

First: it’s important to evaluate what you are actually accomplishing. Sometimes when we dream about our goals and vision of what we want to accomplish our head can get stuck in the clouds. Take a look around you and let a healthy dose of reality bring you back to Earth.

Starting the church I had goals of having hundreds, even thousands of people attending our church services. For months we never had more than 20 people in a single service. Though my goals were way beyond what I was experiencing, the reality of my situation caused me to work harder on achieving those goals.

You should always have a growth mindset. Whether you have ten people in your church, or a thousand, don’t get comfortable with what you have. Strive for more!

Second: you have a vision of what you are going to accomplish. Don’t get arrogant around others and talk about how great you are and what you are going to do. It’s probably best to keep your vision to yourself and only those that are helping guide you.

People will want to know what you are doing once you are actually doing something. They don’t really care when it’s all talk. Even though you have a massive vision for reaching the entire world with the gospel, let your actions speak for themselves.

I’m not saying don’t speak the vision by faith. You always should keep the vision in front of you- speak it out. Just realize what season you are in.

I’m talking about having a cocky and arrogant attitude about what you are going to accomplish.

Humility will look a lot better on you. Being arrogant about what God has called you to do won’t help you get there.

While I was in Bible school it was very common to be asked: “What are you called to do?”. Many people would respond with glorious depictions of shaking nations through crusade evangelism. Few of them ever even entered the ministry.

On the contrary, I have friends in ministry today that are actually out preaching and doing great things for God. When they were asked that question they often responded: “I’m not sure yet”. I’m not saying that if you know what God has called you to do that you can’t tell someone when they ask you.

Genuine humility looks a lot better on you than an inflated ego.

So what do I mean by “act as if you are way further along than you already are”? I’m talking about your mindset.

When you are preaching to six people and you know that God has put hundreds or thousands in your heart, don’t preach to six people. Preach to the thousands.

In reality, you may be preaching in a small room with mostly empty chairs. In your mind, you should be preaching in an auditorium with standing room only.

This mindset changes everything. If you see a thousand people instead of six, you will preach differently! There will be more energy and excitement in your words (at least there should be). You will act more professionally.

Sometimes, in the beginning, you might feel like if you screw up it won’t matter that much because there are only a few people that will know about it.

This is a setup for failure.

If you mess up in your preaching here or there it isn’t the end of your ministry. We are human and people understand that. However, if you preach with a mindset of tolerating failure then you will be bound to fail time and again.

If you are preaching to ten thousand people, you would hopefully spend much time in prayer and preparation for the service. If you are preaching to three people you might be tempted into just going to the service and preach “on the fly”.

This doesn’t just apply to ministry. If you are starting out in business, find a business in your field that is where you want to be. Then act like them! You might not have the building they do, the finances they do, the staff they do- but you can have the mentality they have.

Your mindset doesn’t cost you anything materially, but it can reward you with reaching your goals much faster.

If you are a novice, you don’t have to act like it. You don’t have to tell people.

Look at what Paul wrote to Timothy: 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

Paul didn’t tell him that when you are a beginner it’s going to be tough. He told him that even though you are young- set the example. In other words: don’t act like a novice.

Rather than acting like a noob, study! That way you won’t act like you don’t know what you’re doing.

Start your adventure by being prepared for it- and you will have much greater results.