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THE SMALL BRANCH CHURCH

From the June 1949 issue of The Christian Science Journal


As a result of the recent war many changes have been brought about. One which has had far-reaching consequences is the transfer of populations from one country or district to another. Because of this, branch Churches of Christ, Scientist, in various parts of the world have experienced considerable change in membership. Those which originally served a rural population may now find themselves in the midst of a rapidly expanding community; whereas others, once well-established in the heart of a residential area, may have suffered seeming depletion when loyal students of Christian Science have moved away to labor in other vineyards, eventually to form the nucleus of new churches.

This is all to the good, for thus seeds of Truth are disseminated in ever-widening circles. Branch churches temporarily reduced in size should not allow the error of despondency to hide from them this heartening fact. Truth moves irresistibly forward. God's army ever advances, never retreats. A soldier hidden in his foxhole and holding firmly to his position, or moving forward obediently to the next and holding that one, is making a vitally important contribution to the success of the campaign. Just so, each branch church, however small, by holding faithfully to its position in the Field or moving forward under divine direction, is playing a vital part in the furtherance of the Cause of Christian Science.

Suggestions which appear to be peculiar to the small branch church, and which would frustrate or impede its activities, are inertia and apathy. Offices must be filled and committees formed if a Christian Science branch church is to function fruitfully. Sometimes faithful workers who have served over and over again in various capacities have looked forward to a period when they would be free from routine matters to do higher service. They sense the danger that they may become so swamped with the business of running the church that they will fail to give ample time to prayer and study. This they should not neglect, for it is essential to individual spiritual growth as well as to successful healing and is indispensable to the Church of Christ, Scientist, in fulfilling its mission.

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