I serve as the vicar of two local churches in the North West of England with small but stable congregations. At times, it can seem that there is not much hope for the church as fewer people are attending than years ago. However, this is not the case – there are fewer attending but there is a sure and certain hope. The first reason to believe that the church will grow in numbers is that Jesus promises to build his church. The second is that God has called together some great people with the gifts and abilities that are needed – that is to say: I am hopeful because you are part of the church. And thirdly I know there is hope for the future of the church because growth and transformation have happened before.
In the following verse Peter is referred to, now it’s our turn.
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18.