(Rom 10:15) And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
It’s funny how you think things will go when you first set out on a course. I thought I had it all figured out when my home church sent me out to plant a church. It would start out small and then grow big like the churches I had attended in the past. But where does God send me but to small town USA? And what was provided from the Lord but a small chapel to meet in? Oh, but eventually we would burst at the seams. It’s just a matter of time!
Well, time went by and things pretty much stayed the same. What am I doing wrong, Lord? We love our little fellowship, but will we ever grow out of our building? There are so many people to reach in our community. If we just had a bigger facility, then more people would come and there would be revival! We have effective local outreaches, but we always stay the same size. So, Lord I’m checking in with you to make sure we are on track with Your plan. So how are we doing, Lord? Answer from heaven: MISSIONS OR MEGACHURCH.
What does that mean? Ponder the message. Hmmm. I think I get it. Our church is missions-minded. Everything we do has the Great Commission running through it (Mat 28:18-20). From our local outreaches to our mission’s ministry, it’s all about preaching the gospel to every creature in every nation. And how are we doing that? By going as well as sending.
I think often of how if the church was any larger I would not be able to be personally involved with our mission’s outreach. I’d be so stuck with the maintaining the “machine” and would miss the thrill of a hands-on mission’s ministry. God is so wise! He knows what He is doing. God is not depriving me of a bigger ministry. He has made me thrive on the fulfilling of what the Lord told me when Cheryl and I left the mission field. He told me to go back to the States and that I would be a pastor with a mission’s emphasis. And that’s what I am today. Man, you never want to step out of your calling or you will be miserable!
The ministry I have from the Lord is truly a faith ministry. The largeness I see is the missionaries we reach who in turn reach people across the globe. (John 20:29) Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” But my sinful nature cries out for recognition by the production of people, which in turn becomes visible to the community as a mark of success. All those pats on the back. Good job, Louie! Atta boy preacher!! (To my fellow pastors: Beware!)
Am I against church growth? By no means. Let it happen. God can do anything! But let the smaller church be encouraged that sometimes it comes down to MISSIONS OR MEGACHURCH.