|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Be smart, be strategic”
Our Bible verse for today: “The man with two talents approached. He said, “Master, you gave me two talents. See, I’ve earned two more talents.” His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.” Matthew 25:22-23 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Just be faithful with what you have.”
Years ago, I was a student at the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, which was sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). It was a one-week course for pastors designed to provide training and resources to assist them in the evangelistic efforts in their churches. It was a long time ago and so my memory is a little fuzzy, but one of the workshops was called something like “Evangelism in the small church”. It was taught by an old pastor by the name of Harold (I don’t remember his last name).
Harold had been the pastor of the same rural church someplace in the mid or northwestern US (Montana? Idaho?), for almost fifty years. In all those years the church had never grown bigger than 50 or 60 members. During those years he had baptized perhaps 1-3 new Christians a year, buried many others, dedicated babies, performed weddings, and simply cared for and discipled his flock.
Harold said he was surprised and pleased when he was asked by the BGEA to teach this workshop about evangelism in a small church context, but he was also confused. After all, almost all conference speakers and teachers at events like this are bigshot pastors from big churches, usually there to tell you about the latest book they’ve written or the new program they’ve developed. Seldom is a small church pastor asked to speak about how he grew his church from 25 to 50 in only forty years.
But the BGEA is different. They know that the overwhelming majority of churches are small, and therefore the overwhelming majority of salvations in the body of Christ occur in small churches not large ones, as does most discipleship. Therefore, since the body of Christ is comprised mostly of small churches not big ones, it’s essential that small churches (and small church pastors) remain faithful in their small church ministry. Small churches are the backbone of the kingdom. This is where most of the work is done week-in and week-out – and it adds up! There are hundreds of thousands of small churches scattered across this land. If each of them is baptizing, discipling, and caring for small groups of 100 or less, that adds up to many millions of Christians across America being nurtured in the faith through small church ministry.
The servant depicted in the scene in Matthew 25:22-23 had only been given a little to work with. But he was faithful with it and the Lord was pleased. The same is true for you and your small church. Whether you’re the pastor of a small church or a member of one, be smart, be strategic, keep at it, and just be faithful with what you have.
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