Discovering and embracing the fact that I am a small church pastor was one of the most liberating moments of my life.
It took me years to get there, but once I did… wow! What a relief!
As I’ve outlined in The Grasshopper Myth, I went through a lot of years not willing to admit I was a small church pastor. And I’m not the only one who’s had those feelings.
There are far too many good pastors of great churches who don’t see the beauty in the ministry God has given them because we’re so programmed to push for bigness as a sign of ministry success.
But the world needs lots of healthy small churches and those churches need good pastors.
Since discovering and embracing that truth, I’ve realized many benefits from it.
Here are six of them.
1. It Reduces the Pressure to Be Something You’re Not
For years, I did everything I could – including some very unhealthy things – in the drive to grow our church. Then I became overwhelmed with frustration, anger and guilt when it didn’t grow as fast or as big as I expected.
In the process, I nearly killed my church and my ministry.
For the last few decades, there has been a lot written about the importance of discovering and operating within our purpose and gifts. That is a good thing. But somehow, many of us have failed to apply that to our calling as small church pastors.
Knowing and being who you are – even if it’s only who you are for now – is an essential step to real success and freedom.
2. It Opens You Up to Discovering What Small Churches Do Well
Once I was freed from the burden of having to grow numerically in order to believe my ministry and my church were of value, I was able to ask a new set of questions. Like “what is God calling our church to do and be right now?”
Out of questions like that came a host of great ministry ideas that we would never have discovered if we hadn’t embraced who we are.
We started doing ministry that was more personal. We built a strong church on mentoring relationships, personal discipleship, relational evangelism and neighborhood ministry. And, as evidenced by this blog, it has expanded into helping other small churches do ministry well, also.
Your church doesn’t need to be bigger to start doing great ministry.
Don’t miss out on the opportunities right in front of you.
3. It Focuses Your Time and Resources
How much time and emotional, financial and spiritual resources have been wasted by small church pastors trying to be something we’re not?