I love small churches.
I love it when churches carefully, prayerfully include new things in ministry.
In February a church in Palos Heights (near Chicago) replaced their old balcony-mounted video projector with a smaller, brighter, ceiling-mounted unit, a new computer and DVD/VCR that integrated with its audio system. On installation morning I arrived a few minutes early, was greeted warmly and introduced to the team I would lead and assist for the day. After visiting with them over coffee and donuts for a little while it was time to begin. Rich, the deacon chairman, said “We’ve prayed about this decision, we’ve asked for wisdom and God has given it. It’s only fitting that we thank God and include Him at the beginning of things today.” He opened the day-long project with prayer and we were underway. I smiled and said we’d probably be back, asking the Lord’s guidance when the day’s first surprise surfaced. Sure enough we were – and God was faithful. It was a good day!
When a church takes intentional steps to add to their ministry capability and the people “have a mind to work” (borrowed that from Nehemiah 4.6) the enthusiasm is contagious. Nothing is too big to try or too little to do. Teamwork enhances and deepens relationships. Memories etch themselves into the hearts and minds of volunteers. Community grows. Seeing people invest their time and energy in the Lord’s work encourages leadership.
The days I install are usually long days; starting early and finishing late, but they infuse me with dose after dose of confidence in the Lord as I observe what God is doing in pockets of believers in my part of the country.
I’m sure Paul had no idea there would one day be things like video projectors and computers and cameras used in ministry. Even so, I’m borrowing his words from 2 Timothy 2.2 and doing my best to entrust this technology and know-how to reliable people in these churches, helping them enhance their local ministries. And I’m clear about it while we’re together, “I expect you to help each other as you go, share what you learn, build each other up by enhancing your church’s worship and teaching ministries. What’s more, you should expect each other to add to your understanding and skill … then find and teach someone else.”
Small churches with vision are GREAT!