It isn’t just the pastors of small churches that need to begin perceiving the unique advantages for global impact that God has already infused in to their church.
All of the members of the church do too.
Because when they do, they’ll have an individual and communal passion to discover how they can begin participating in what God is doing around the world through supporting and caring for those He calls to go.
Asking this thought-provoking question is the simplest way I’ve found to help them modify their perspective about their personal and their church’s ability to become a significant contributor to Great Commission fulfillment.
What is it about your church that keeps you there?
They could reply with these reasons:
–The stellar and exceptional teaching/preaching gift of the pastor.
–The polished and professional-level musicians and CD-like sound of the worship team.
–The always-in-motion youth group and the “cutting-edge” technology the youth ministry uses.
Although they may give one or more of those responses, those aren’t usually the characteristics that draw people and then keep them in a small church–especially when they have the option to attend the nearby large or mega-church.
More than likely, their answers will be things like these:
1–The direct access they have to their pastor because of the personal relationship they have developed with him.
2–Knowing and being known by almost every other member of the church, and being thankful for the reality that staying anonymous in the church was impossible.
3–The reality that the discovery and use of their giftedness, their personality traits, their spiritual maturity, and their servanthood are visible and known to both church leaders and a significant portion of the church body.
4–They like the fact that doing something as a whole church requires a large percentage of the body members to sacrifice their time, talent, and resources for it to be the success that was envisioned.
5–The Sunday morning service–PRIME TIME–isn’t a polished production that requires everything to be pre-scripted–a measure of spontaneity, flexibility, and opportunity for “average Joe” type members to contribute is permitted and appreciated.
6–Because the pastor knows that the majority of the people he’s teaching/preaching to actually know him and see many facets of his life outside the time he’s in the pulpit, his messages don’t feel like lectures, and he communicates with a level of transparency that encourages them as they walk with Jesus.
7–The pastor is the gatekeeper and greatest influence on what the church cares about and does, but actually knowing him outside the pulpit and having access to him, provides the opportunity to personally give him feedback on the impact of his decisions.
Once the members of small churches are provoked to think about and articulate the various reasons why they are part of it, helping them to see that those are the very things essential for meaningful engagement in global missions will ignite their desire to find onramps for stepping in to the role that God has for them both individually and as a church body.
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