Serving in a Smaller Church
Are you serving in a smaller church? If so, have you asked yourself why?
I hope your answer is not “because I didn’t get an interview at one of the much larger churches that I applied for and really wanted”, or “because I was running out of money and needed to take any pastorate that I could get”.
Rather, I hope it is something like this: “Because I felt it was the Lord calling me to that particular local church. And despite all the difficulties and disappointments I may be facing, it is still where I believe the Lord wants me to serve him.”
If that’s the case, then I believe you are in the best place you could be. You are in the place the Lord wants you to serve him in now – that is truly something to rejoice in and be encouraged by.
Does size matter?
Oh, there are great blessings to be had in serving the Lord in a numerically large church; but they do not compare to serving the Lord in the church he desires that you serve him in, regardless of its size.
"Let’s faithfully, humbly, and joyfully undertake the work that God, in his good providence, has called us to do in the place he has called us to do it."
Our culture (and, dare I say, even the church) can be preoccupied with size and think that somehow if it’s bigger, it’s better. Let me exhort you not to be drawn into that way of thinking; it is certainly not the way the Lord thinks about his church.
If we truly believe in the providence of God and that salvation is of God, then surely our calling is too.
Let’s faithfully, humbly, and joyfully undertake the work that God, in his good providence, has called us to do in the place he has called us to do it.
What could possibly be better than being in the Lord’s will for our lives?
Contentment and joy
Surely being in the Lord’s will should not just bring contentment but also joy to our service.
Of course, we need to pray with a passion for souls to be saved; we need to be consistent in the ways we seek to model Christ in our communities; we need to be imaginative in the ways we seek to have opportunities to tell others the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
But numerical success is not to be where we find our fulfilment and contentment – that always has to be in the Lord and in his love for us and in our privileged position of being able to serve him in the place he wants us to serve him.
Whatever the size of the church you serve in, you will all too soon face trials, difficulties, and disappointments - they are a fact of Christian ministry, indeed of Christian life for all believers.
However, being content and feeling privileged to be serving the Lord in the place you know he has called you to is as precious as gold during all seasons of our ministry.