Small churches and their pastors seldom get the credit they deserve.
Including from small church pastors ourselves.
Yes, it’s true. Often the biggest critics of small churches and the people who pastor them are staring at us in our mirror.
What Am I Doing Wrong?
Too many small church pastors are living under a burden of self-hatred that we’re ashamed to admit.
We wonder what we must be doing wrong because our church isn’t growing. So we try the latest church growth method, only to see it fail. Then we get angry at ourselves for failing, and at the church growth movement for building our hopes up only to let us down. Again.
We feel belittled, undervalued and ignored, often by the very people we look to for validation and help.
We spend so much time and emotional energy being angry at our churches, our denominations, other pastors and other churches. But mostly at ourselves.
Get Off Our Own Backs
Our biggest problem isn’t with others. It’s in us.
So here’s my word for all my peers in small church ministry. It’s a hard word, but it’s necessary and spoken in love and concern.
Small church pastors can’t get mad at others for looking down on us when we keep looking down on ourselves.
Find The Value
How can we expect others to see us in a better way than we see ourselves?
No, I’m not talking about some new-agey, self-love mumbo-jumbo. I’m saying we can’t put ourselves and our church down for not hitting numerical benchmarks, then not expect others to see us in the same way.
We need to appreciate the value of a heathy church – especially when it’s the healthy church we’re serving – no matter what size it is. And we need to be grateful for the role we get to play in it.
If we expect what we do to be valued by others, we have to value it first.
A Part Of God’s Plan
The good news is, we don’t need to plaster a fake smile on our faces or repeat words of positive affirmation to get to a better place.
We need to recognize that God’s plans are bigger than ours, and that he has chosen to include us in them.
Yes, us. Small churches and the people who pastor them are an important element in what God has done, is doing and will do in the world.
We’re not less than. We’re essential.
Small churches matter.
We need to know that first. Then others will follow our lead.
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