Tuesday, April 21, 2009

See Your Calling

One weakness of the small town church is pastoral discouragement. In many small town churches the pastor is the outsider, a fact often headlined by the common phrase, "We've seen pastors come and go here." Pastoral tenure is generally very short in North American churches -- a fact which complicates ministry in a small town church, especially when mixed with inadequate resources and the control of a few strong families in an exclusionary atmosphere. Sometimes discouragement comes simply from inappropriate comparison. The key issue is meeting needs through the Word of God, not a sense of self-actualization through successful involvement in the numbers game. "Churches grow by nutrition not addition"

Then too, few things are private in a small community. Everyone knows the pastor's family, his finances, and his faults. Some men find this transparency difficult to handle and therefore view the small town church only as a stepping-stone to a "stronger ministry." Inadequate congregational identity may lead to inadequate ministerial identity, an uncertain road to discouragement. Pastors of small town churches should memorize and frequently recite 1 Cor 1:26-30.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called.
1Co 1:26-30 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.


Johnny said...

Brother Dave, That was excellent advise. Many times we get caught up in numbers instead of just trying to build people. I learned this lesson several years ago in Croatia, and it has kept me from quitting.

God bless!

bwilber777 said...

That was on point Pastor!

ky preacher said...

Bro. Dave,
I appreciate this timely post. I was contacted just yesterday about something related to your post. I am praying that the Lords will be done in this personnal matter.

Bro. Donnie said...

Mt 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Lu 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Php 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

The above verses are in place for application and not contextual pointedness.
We must grow where we are and be faithful where we are. For me, what the "big boys" do in their churches and the attitudes that I see some of them portray sickens me. Some soon forget that we are all in this thing together. God has a special blessing for those men who build a church because of hard work and evangelism. Those who have people flock their church because of their name and cliquish connections have their reward.