In two weeks time I will be meeting with 28 other leaders from across Canada to talk about how we can more effectively serve small churches together better than we can alone. For two days we will be focused on nothing other than small churches.
I will be starting the consultation off with a study entitled “How Do You Measure The Value Of A Church?” I want to set the tone for our time together with a focus on the fact that the value of a church is not measured by external elements. It is the relationship with Jesus Christ that gives value to any church whatever its size. Small churches are important because they are loved, cared for, transformed and commissioned by Jesus Christ. Size is never the deciding factor.
As we hold this important consultation, I want to ask you to be involved in a number of ways.
There are going to be twenty-nine people who are going to attend this consultation because they care about small churches. They have found time in their busy schedules to be there because they have a concern for the small church. They will be traveling in some cases long distances because they want to serve you more effectively. They have spent valuable funds in order to cover the costs of the consultation.
If you are attending a small church, these leaders care about you. I don’t know what will come out of these two days but it is my prayer that there will be a unity and a sense of purpose that will benefit small churches all across our land.
It is easy for small-church leaders to feel isolated and alone but I want to tell you that if these men and women didn’t care about you, they wouldn’t be there. They are giving up time, finances and energy because they want to see something happen that will help you become a better small-church leader.
I am a pastor who has taught on the importance of prayer but I have to admit there are questions about prayer that I simply don’t understand. I certainly would not set out to write the definitive book on the subject because I’m not sure that anyone understands prayer enough to write that kind of book.
But there is one thing that I know. People pray and God acts. Those two things are inseparably linked. People pray and God does something extraordinary, something beyond anything that we could possibly do on our own.
James, the brother of Jesus, says in his epistle that we don’t have things often because we don’t ask for them. I am afraid that that is true more often than I like to admit.
If you read this, I would encourage you to take a few moments right now and pray for the consultation. Then note it as something for which you will pray each day between now and the time when the consultation takes place.
Pray that there will be a tremendous sense of unity among the people who are there.
Pray that there will be a unity of purpose in regard to where we go next. Pray that we will be able to come together around something that we can all do together more effectively than we could do on our own and that there will be a strong desire to be part of making that purpose become reality.
Pray for safety for everyone as they travel to Guelph and then back home again.
Open yourself to future involvement
I’m not sure what will come out of this consultation but I am praying that there will be opportunities for a lot of people to become part of what God is doing in small churches. If you are a leader in a small church, you are not alone. There are approximately 8,000 small, evangelical churches in Canada. It seems a shame that with that many anyone should feel alone.
If each of those 8,000 small churches averaged just 60 people in attendance on a Sunday morning, there would be about 500,000 people attending those small churches and in my thinking that is a lot of people. That is part of the reason why I have committed the rest of my ministry years to serving small churches. In your church and thousands of others just like it, there are hundreds of thousands of people who matter to God.
Through this consultation and what follows from it, it is my prayer that we will all catch a new vision for what God can do through us.
So be encouraged. There are leaders committed to serving you.
Pray. God works through the prayers of his people.
Be involved. Plan to be part of what God is doing and will do in the days ahead.