Pastoring a small church has its challenges. One of the greatest challenges we may feel is the competition with “bigger” churches. We can get caught up in numbers, that pressure… real or imagined.
The question may be: “What difference will I make? I’m not ____________. They’ve published books. They speak at the conferences.” On and on.
Several years ago I was challenged in prayer to dream bigger. Regardless of the size of my church, what could the Lord do through me over the next 20 years of ministry?
This past week in a prayer retreat the Lord challenged me again with those dreams. I have said over the past couple of years that I’m only praying what God asks me to pray. Those are huge prayers, but I’ve seen huge answers since then.
The Lord challenged me to pray his prayers again. Over the next 20 years I began to dream what our church would do in planting churches here and overseas. By the time I was done, I realized that on the conservative side of things, at the end of that 20 years I could have been a catalyst in impacting 250,000 people in some way for the gospel.
That may not seem like a “big” dream to some people, but it’s something I can use to get me up every day with excitement for the next 20 years!
And here is the other thing: What if every “small” church pastor started dreaming like this? What if every pastor who had a church under 100 in attendance began thinking about multiplication, starting other works (here or overseas) and the impact that has over the long haul? If every “small” church pastor activated their church in that way… the Church would actually be … THE CHURCH. All over the world.
I can dream that dream and pray that prayer. I can get up with that anticipation every day for the next 20 years, ready for what the Lord will do.