Small church pastors, I want you to know you matter.
Your ministry matters. Your church matters.
We don’t hear this affirmation much in our church world, where it seems bigness is next to godliness. Ministry success, to many, is defined by how many people attend your church and how big your “platform” can be.
We know our value is not found in our numbers or our social media presence, but, the truth is, when all we see celebrated is the “success” of others, it is easy to be discouraged. Sometimes, those of us in the trenches of small church ministry need to be reminded of our value to the kingdom of God.
Serving the kingdom
I was reading in the gospel of Luke and came to chapter 17. In verses 20 and 21 Jesus says, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
These verses encouraged me in my own small church ministry.
Sometimes, the work God is doing in us and through us and around us is unknown and unseen. Recognition for our ministry may never come, and that is OK. We don’t need the glory because the kingdom of God is in our midst.
The kingdom of God is in our churches, in our neighborhood, and in our communities.
The kingdom of God is here.
Our ministry is to help others recognize and join this kingdom. No matter the size of the crowd, God is there, and he is using the prayers of his people, the preaching of his Word and the songs of praise to form his church and to awaken hearts to the kingdom of God in their midst.
We can trust God is working because the kingdom of God is in the midst of us. Jesus has come, the kingdom of God is at hand, and we can minister in the hope and joy of this truth.
We may not be able to brag on social media about our numbers last Sunday, and we may have gone weeks or months without filling our baptismal waters, but we can know God is using us for his glory.
Running the race
Our call is to be faithful. That can sound cliché, but it is true.
Keep going. Keep preaching. Keep praying.
Remain faithful to the call of God on your life and know you matter. You matter to your church. You matter to God, and you matter in his kingdom.
He is using you in ways that cannot be observed, in ways the world will never see, and in ways you may never know.
Zac Harrel is pastor of First Baptist Church in Gustine, Texas.
This article originally appeared on Zac Harrel’s blog, Rural Ramblings.