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There Are No Little Churches

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Thought I'd share this "Church Planting Helper" email that I received...
 
There Are No Little Churches
            A young seminary student began his question to the teacher by stating he was the pastor of a little church when he was abruptly interrupted by the professor who stated, "Young man, there are no little churches." The professor's point was: every church is God's, therefore it is big. No preacher should be embarrassed by the size of his church if it is God's church.
            To see a new church as small is to minimize the organism by which God has chosen to reach the world. Every preacher is an ambassador for Christ and thereby he is God's representative on the earth. There is no place for bragging or arrogance, however the importance of God's work never should be minimized. When a preacher sees his work as little and insignificant he will begin to treat the ministry as small and unimportant. This attitude may lead to a laxness and mediocrity toward the high calling of the pastoral ministry. Every church planter should recognize he is performing the greatest work in the world, at least from God's point of view.
            Just because the entire community has not been evangelized and become an active member of the church doesn't mean the work is insignificant. Even the largest churches reach only a small portion of their community. The church can have an impact, but I have never seen a community where every citizen is a citizen of heaven and faithfully attending the same fundamental church. The purpose of the ministry is to preach the word, evangelize the lost, and edify the believers. The results will vary from one ministry to another, but the dedication and importance of every work is the same and should be treated with the same commitment. An unenthusiastic attitude toward the ministry will result in a dead or dying church. 
            Too many preachers become discouraged by their perception of the success of others and thereby resign themselves to do little things for God. I have met and known some great preachers who served in small communities. Though to some their work may have seemed insignificant, often it is from these churches that God raises up great servants to do great things for God. Numerous Christian leaders were saved and sent out of country churches or newly established churches. Every church should be seen as big if the leaders are doing the work of God.
            From rural America, from the small villages dotting the Appalachian mountains, from newly established inner city churches, have come some great servants of the Lord. We must never minimize the importance of these ministries and acknowledge them as little or insignificant. Though I have preacher friends that grew up in the city, most of the preachers I know grew up on the farm or in a small community. These men were taught character and hard work and upon their conversion and call to the ministry they were well equipped to build a church for God. The churches from which they came often were little known and often their pastor was unheralded, but these great leaders sprang from seemingly insignificant ancestry.
            If Satan can put into the mind of the preacher that the church he is establishing is insignificant, soon the preacher will begin planning and working as though his ministry is insignificant. All of the wonderful opportunities afforded him can be lost or overlooked. Longing or coveting the acclaim of well known churches and pastors will only lead to futility and failure. Preachers must learn to be themselves and to be who God wants them to be. There will be some surprises when we reach heaven and the rewards are distributed. I believe there will be many unsung heroes that received little acclaim on this earth, but will have great reward one day heaven.
            There is no place for pride, but the man of God must recognize that he is doing the greatest work in the world. God has called him to labor in a special field with special opportunities. There are no small ministries, because every ministry is God's work.
            Let's treat our work with the esteem it deserves.
 
With a Heart for God,
 
Jim Townsley

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Yes, I have heard William Carey's quote my entire life: "Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God."

The fact is that a small church is a small church, and it is limited in what it can do.  That is the reality of the situation.  No amount of doctoring it up to make people feel better about themselves will change that.  And many times, a church is small and not for lack of doing "all the right things" for growth.  I can't explain why some churches are small and seem to level off.  In many cases, it is not for lack of effort or vision. 

So, in my view, this is nothing more than pop-psychology or a vain attempt to escape the harsh realities some of us live in. 

 

Not trying to rain on anyone's parade....just trying to be real.

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Isn't the Great Commission to make disciples, baptize and teach them? Can't a small church do that the same as a large church? It may not be to the same extent as a larger church, but it is fulfilling its commission all the same. If the church is God's then He grows it - or not. Man may try to artificially grow it, or artificially keep it small, and such is disOBedience, but if God wants a church to be small then it is no shame or disOBedience for it to be so. Would we shame a mother to whom God has given only two children to raise for Him, when her neighbor has been given nine?

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I don't think the article was meant as a justification for having a small church; rather, it's simply to encourage men to continue in their labors despite the size. Sure it's psychology (though I don't like that word), and we all use psychology to an extent.

 

Suppose someone has just had something terrible happen in their life...we say, "I understand", or "It'll be alright." When in fact, we often don't truly understand, and we don't know if it will truly be alright (humanly speaking). However, we're using psychology to try to help that person and encourage them. 

 

I was saved in a small church, there are no churches in my area that would be considered large by any means, and the largest churches that ARE in my area are full of false doctrine and teachings.

 

If a church in a town of 1000 people has 50 people who attend, that's 5% of the population.  However, if a church in an city of 2,000,000 people is a mega-church with 5000 people who attend, that's only 0.25% of the population.  Therefore, the smaller church has reached a larger percentage of their area.

 

1 Corinthians 3:6-9
6   I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7   So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8   Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9   For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
 
If a man is doing what God has given him to do, he's doing it faithfully, and he's doing it biblically...don't fault the man because of the size of the church...fault God (if we dare) since he's the one who gives the increase. 

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