During my church visits I’m seeing a noticeable downward turn in attendance from when I visited the same churches a year ago. Of three longstanding churches who last year had 20-30 in attendance, one closed their doors, another is down to three people and a third has only two families. I’m hearing a reoccurring theme in all of them — older members are dying, people are not dependable, many are traveling, people are out with the flu and some moved on to another church. From a visitor’s perspective it appears that as fellowship shrinks, so does preparation and enthusiasm for preaching the Word. The Lord said, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11 NIV).