Little Flock

The Word

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

Voice from the Church

“I am a little shepherd, and preside over a tiny flock, and I am among the least of the servants of the Spirit. But Grace is not narrow, or circumscribed by place. Wherefore let freedom of speech be given even to the small—especially when the subject matter is of such great importance.” (Gregory Nazianzen, 329-390)*


The word “little” is a term used to describe something in comparison to something else that is larger. Jesus often spoke of “little children” and he rebuked his disciples for their “little faith.” He addressed those who loved him “little” because they perceived they had been forgiven “little.” At least on one occasion, our Lord referred to his chosen followers as a “little flock”; they were merely twelve men among the vast multitudes.

The world without Christ is huge in numbers as compared to the followers of Christ; Christians are destined to be in the minority in this present age. But more particularly, across this world, there are little Bible classes and groups, little ministries. and little churches. What does our Lord say to such diminutive groups? “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

In the kingdom of God, “little” can mean much if God is in it. Bethlehem was a “little” town and Galilee was a “little” region. However, God Almighty accomplished big things in both locations.


Fear not, little flock, whatever your lot,
He enters all rooms, “the doors being shut,”
He never forsakes; He never is gone,
So count on His presence in darkness and dawn.
(Paul Rader, 1878-1938)**

*Gregory Nazianzen, Letters XLI, NPNF 2 7:450.
**From “Only Believe” by Paul Rader.

November 9 devotional from . . .
WellSpring: 365 Devotional Readings
copyright © 2018 Ralph I. Tilley
(paperback and Kindle editions available at

Author: Ralph I. Tilley

I joyfully identify with the long history of the orthodox, evangelical stream of the Church. Theologically, I am a conservative. On issues of secondary importance, I will not quibble with my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” I would hope I have no doctrinal biases; however, I realize that is a practical impossibility: “Now I know in part.” You can read more on the About page.