Fear Not Little Flock

David Norczyk
8 min readApr 11, 2021


I have pastored a big church and a small church, and I have come to the anti-American, anti-church growth model, anti-path for pastoral success conclusion that I prefer a small church. Something in my soul loves church, but something deeper in my soul loves little flocks. Sheep are sheep wherever you go, but there is something glorious about a small gathering. God’s people in small churches really know one another. I mean, they really, really know one another. If you try to slip into a small church on a Sunday night, they will know you.

The first sermon I ever preached was to a small Baptist church in Auburn, Michigan. Surely, they were under the discipline of the Lord to have me as their interim pastor! This was before seminary, when God was confirming my call to pastor and preach. I even had an angry old guy who complained about my preaching after every Sunday message. I have had one of those guys everywhere I have ever gone. It keeps me humble and always working harder to feed the sheep.

There is also a little verse that refers to a “little flock,” and it is one of my favorites from Jesus. Luke 12:32 reads, “Fear not little flock, your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” C. H. Spurgeon preached in a way that he chose one verse of Scripture and then preached a sermon. Although not every verse gives itself to such exposition, Luke 12:32 certainly does.

The context of the whole of Luke 12 is Jesus reassuring His disciples not to fear a variety troubles common to God’s people. In Luke 12:4, Jesus tells His disciples not to fear death or those who kill the body. It is better for them to fear God who controls each person’s eternal destiny with absolute sovereignty. In Luke 12:7, He encouraged them to understand their value to their heavenly Father. They should not be afraid. Again, in Luke 12:11, Jesus addressed the disciples’ fear of not knowing what to say about Him. In Luke 12:22, He encouraged them not to fear the basic needs of food and clothing.

“Do not be afraid” is a message Christians need to hear in every generation. At times, we fear death or where the money for our next bill payment is going to come from. Jesus says, “Fear not.” The reason not to fear is found in Luke 12:30, “your Father knows that you need these things.” Our Father in heaven cares about each one of His children.

Over three decades of ministry, the apostle Paul was able to write the Philippians with the same encouragement as Jesus, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God (Phil 4:6).” Paul had learned to be content with Jesus as His shepherd. Have you?

We pray to our Father in heaven, who wills good things for His children, and who has sent the Holy Spirit to do His good pleasure in us (Phil 2:13). With a motive of love, God the Father works all things together for good for us, who love Him, and who are purposefully called into His family (Rom 8:28). Have you considered our Father, who has given you the right to be called, “child of God” (Jn 1:12; 1 Jn 3:10)? He is completely worthy of your trust, and in fact, He fully expects it from you.

Our Father in heaven knows our needs, and He has chosen gladly to give to His children. James tells us that every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights (Jam 1:17). Is God stingy with His children? Is He a scrooge? Does He operate like a miser? No, He delights to give good gifts. It is His good pleasure.

God owns everything, and He is fearless in giving it away. The whole essence of the motif of biblical grace is about God giving good gifts. He cares for all of His creation, but He especially gives good things to His children. He loves us, and He freely gives to us all things. What does our good Father in heaven give to His children, who are called by His name?

Our Father in heaven is King of kings. As King over all, He gives us His kingdom. Why do Christians often have so little of this world? It is because our Father loves us, and He gives us His kingdom, instead of the kingdom of this world. You might think there is some confusion in this contradistinction, but there is no confusion, if you understand the difference between the kingdoms.

The kingdom of this world, in this present evil age, is lorded over by the god of this world, Satan. He is a mean slave driver. He enslaves his subjects like a North Korean dictator. He gives his citizens sin for their daily bread. He is a wicked taskmaster. His employment of his common laborers is to do sin. He permits them pleasures to try and cope with their grief of being slaves, but only sinful addiction is legal in his kingdom. He blinds the minds of His subjects so they will not consider an alternative. He lies to them, and his intent is to destroy them.

The kingdom of God is eternal. There was knowledge of it in the Garden of Eden, but Paradise was lost. The knowledge of the great God and King grew dim, save for a small tribe of people who passed the knowledge onto their children from generation to generation. The unseen King would work in various peoples’ lives. He was faithful, and He made them to be people of faith. There was always a hope of His coming to crush the oppressor.

When Jesus Christ came into the world, the Messianic expectation was high. The kingdom of God was at hand because the Prince of life had come to set the captives free from bondage to sin and death. He would bring many sons to glory because of His ransom payment, a redemption, paid with the currency of His own blood, shed on the Cross of Calvary. Forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with the Father, the promise of preservation, and the hope of eternal life were accomplished, not just made possible.

Following Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, He ascended into heaven and was enthroned as King over all. He sat down to rule and reign over all, as the One and only Sovereign. The Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit to bring a token of the kingdom to the liberated slaves. Paul wrote, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17).” The kingdom of this world is eating and drinking, festival after festival, but the kingdom of God is right standing with God. It is the joy of being in personal relationship with God. It is peace with God.

We do not work to attain the Spirit, who gives us these good gifts. He Himself is the gift of God. God has pledged Himself, as the promise of His kingdom to be fulfilled. The children of God, our Father, and our King are heirs of God. We are co-heirs with Christ. Heirs do not work for their inheritance. It is the joy of the estate owner to give, joyfully give, to the child who bears his likeness.

One phrase, and two words, we have yet to consider: “little flock.” As children of God, born of the Spirit of God, we are considered sheep of His pasture. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the Chief Shepherd of God’s flock. Groups of people in the world want to be identified in the image of fierceness. We want to be Lions, Tigers, Wolverines, Spartans, Broncos, and Chippewas. God identifies us as sheep. We need to have a right perspective on our place in relationship to the world and to God.

Sheep are docile creatures. No other animal fears a sheep. Sheep are quite vulnerable in a number of ways. Sheep have much reason to be afraid in this world. Phillip Keller’s books on Psalm 23 and John 10 are invaluable for understanding Christians as sheep. Satan is a cruel shepherd with no love for the people he has enslaved. We are sheep in the pasture of the Great Shepherd of the sheep. He bought us for a price. This is a demonstration of His love. His provision and protection, seen in Psalm 23, also gives us great joy. The joy of our Shepherd is given to us when He leads us in the course of His will and providence.

He is mighty to save us. He is all-powerful. He is all-wise. He is all-knowing. He is gracious. He is giving. He is good. It is Satan’s task to deceive people from knowing the truth about our God, who is always good and in all ways good. Our task is to draw near to Him. We must trust our whole lives into His care.

Life becomes a mere foretaste of hell when a man, or a woman, refuses to relinquish himself fully into His care. The unbeliever makes life miserable for those around him because he is always looking for greener pastures and a better shepherd. Athletes, Hollywood starlets, princes and kings are cheap imitations to follow. The world will know you by the one you follow.

Jesus knows those who belong to Him. Paul wrote to Timothy with the same sentiment, “The Lord knows those who are His.” When the Good Shepherd calls out to His flock penned up in the sheepfold of this mixed community called, “humanity in the world,” they hear His voice among the scoffers. They follow Him because they love Him. They love Him, we love Him, I love Him because He has been so good to His people, who are called by His name.

A number of years ago, our family moved to Michigan for a year. The town we lived in had a number of churches, but there were no Sunday night gatherings. My heart yearned for Sunday night teaching and fellowship. One day, I was driving east along the Cass River, and I was passing through a small village called, Tuscola. Being native to Frankenmuth, I had passed through Tuscola many times over several decades.

In early March of that year, I noticed something in Tuscola my eyes had never seen before: a beautiful, little, white church building. I was mesmerized mostly because I had just simply never observed it. It was almost as if the devil had blinded my mind from seeing it. There it was, Tuscola Community Church, built in 1865. I went to read the sign out front, and with the joy of a lamb in spring, I noticed there was a Sunday night service.

Tuscola Community Church was a little flock. Their pastor and associate pastor were both wise and tender souls. They were excited about Jesus. The flock on Sunday night was mature. Many of them knew their Bibles very well. They knew the Lord Jesus, and they loved to be together. The world looks in on us and sees pathetic sheep, but we are the heirs of the kingdom of God. O How marvelous! How wonderful!

God looks in on us with infinite love and tenderness. He delights in us, young and old. He has sheep of many colors, sizes, and shapes. Some of His sheep are beautiful and some of us not so much. None of these things matter to Him. He made each of us, just as we are, on the inside and out. Just being around Him makes us better. When He speaks to us, we know He knows are troubles. We know He cares for us.

When we gather as His little flock, He makes us pause for an hour. “Rest and know I am God, and I am with you,” is His encouragement to us, “Do not be afraid.” There are better days for us coming. The strife will be no more. The fearful things will be removed. The kingdom of God will be fulfilled with us in it, and with it in us. These are the promises of our Good Shepherd, and they are believed by His sheep. Are you one of His? If so, do not be afraid.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

April 11, 2021



David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher