The Christian Chronicle recently reported that the Highland Oaks Church of Christ has recently merged with the nearby Pitman Creek Church of Christ. [You can read the story here.] Yet what is unique about this merger is that each congregation is going to remain where they currently are. They will now be "one congregation meeting in two locations", sharing "a common staff, eldership, budget and vision."
The obvious error in this is the disregard of local church autonomy and the over-extension of the rule of elders. But I want to notice something else right now that the article mentioned.
The Highland Oaks church has 2000 members. The Pitman Creek church, which has just been taken over, has 200 members. The Pitman Creek church was described as "struggling" and "small". It is difficult for me to see how a 200-member congregation can be described as small and struggling. What does this say about much smaller groups?
The Bible teaches that the church is fully sufficient to do the work God has given it to do. 1 Timothy 3:15 says the church is "the pillar and support of the truth." The context indicates that this is the local church. The local church has the responsibility of upholding and proclaiming the truth.
Each congregation, whether it has 10, 200, or 2000 members, is fully capable and equipped to do what God intends for the local church to do. Let us not be discouraged by those who want to improve God's plan by leading us to believe that we cannot do what God wants us to do without doing it their way. Let us do things God's way. His way is, and always will be, the best way to accomplish His goals.