Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Joy of Being A Small Church Pastor

In Letters to a Young Pastor, Calvin Miller gives sobering counsel to young and restless pastors like myself: 
"Most of you will be taking churches of 100 members or less.  Twenty years from now, 80 percent of you will no longer be a pastor...The 20 percent of you who have continued preaching will still be in churches of 100 members or less."
Counsel like this has caused me to be content with what God gives me and has for me 30 years from now.  
I was reminded of the joy in serving a small church last night at our prayer meeting.  There were only several of us who showed up.  As we took prayer requests, I came to find out that one family is preparing for a trip to Israel next week.  They were able to share about the trip and we were able to pray at length for them and their time.  It has been a joy to be able to pray for all of the families in our church on a weekly basis and know what is going on in the lives of most of the people in our church.  This would be more difficult if our attendance was in the 100's or 1000's. This is in no way a slam against big churches or bitter resentment against men who have large ministries.  God uses both small and large churches for His glory. 
Of course, there are problems that come with a small church: small budget, small numbers show up to events, and when there is friction between two families it can really be felt in the total congregation.  All that said, it is a joy to shepherd each small flock that Christ has purchased at the cost of His own blood (Acts 20:28).

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