Gary Nelson told us during The Congress.ca that he attends a church of about 80 people in Toronto. He shared about some of the people, some with very messy lives whose lives have been changed by the work of that church. Yet he knows his pastor feels like a failure. His pastor has been there about 10 years and yet feels that his ministry isn’t “successful”.
I know that feeling. When we were in Erin Mills it seemed (even though it was an unrealistic expectation on my part) that I couldn’t get a win! Every month, every week we seemed to go backwards. Did I do everything right – hardly. But we worked hard, prayed faithfully, stayed close to our leadership, looked for God’s leading. When we left I walked away feeling like we had let God down.
What is especially discouraging is the guys at the mega churches that imply in their conversations and books that there are “10 easy ways” to grow the church. They imply that there is a formula -man made I might add – that if simply followed will have people entering the church – signing up for membership – begging for the chance to tithe. But it isn’t like that. In fact it is far from that.
First and foremost it’s God’s Church and it’s God’s work and He’s been at work in that community long before any group or denomination arrived. He’s been providing -giving grace – prompting hearts because He loves the people of the neighbourhood long before they were born.
So I want to salute the pastors of those small congregations. I want to say how wonderful it is to have faithful servants who simply serve the people who live in their community. These are the heroes of the faith.