Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


There Are No Little Churches

  • Jim Townsley
  • Apr 10, 2014

A young seminary student began his question to the teacher by stating he was the pastor of a little church when he was abruptly interrupted by the professor who stated, "Young man, there are no little churches." The professor's point was: every church is God's, therefore it is big. No preacher should be embarrassed by the size of his church if it is God's church.

To see a new church as small is to minimize the organism by which God has chosen to reach the world. Every preacher is an ambassador for Christ and thereby he is God's representative on the earth. There is no place for bragging or arrogance, however the importance of God's work never should be minimized. When a preacher sees his work as little and insignificant he will begin to treat the ministry as small and unimportant. This attitude may lead to a laxness and mediocrity toward the high calling of the pastoral ministry. Every church planter should recognize he is performing the greatest work in the world, at least from God's point of view.

Just because the entire community has not been evangelized and become an active member of the church doesn't mean the work is insignificant. Even the largest churches reach only a small portion of their community. The church can have an impact, but I have never seen a community where every citizen is a citizen of heaven and faithfully attending the same fundamental church. The purpose of the ministry is to preach the word, evangelize the lost, and edify the believers. The results will vary from one ministry to another, but the dedication and importance of every work is the same and should be treated with the same commitment. An unenthusiastic attitude toward the ministry will result in a dead or dying church.

Too many preachers become discouraged by their perception of the success of others and thereby resign themselves to do little things for God. I have met and known some great preachers who served in small communities. Though to some their work may have seemed insignificant, often it is from these churches that God raises up great servants to do great things for God. Numerous Christian leaders were saved and sent out of country churches or newly established churches. Every church should be seen as big if the leaders are doing the work of God.

From rural America, from the small villages dotting the Appalachian mountains, from newly established inner city churches, have come some great servants of the Lord. We must never minimize the importance of these ministries and acknowledge them as little or insignificant. Though I have preacher friends that grew up in the city, most of the preachers I know grew up on the farm or in a small community. These men were taught character and hard work and upon their conversion and call to the ministry they were well equipped to build a church for God. The churches from which they came often were little known and often their pastor was unheralded, but these great leaders sprang from seemingly insignificant ancestry.

If Satan can put into the mind of the preacher that the church he is establishing is insignificant, soon the preacher will begin planning and working as though his ministry is insignificant. All of the wonderful opportunities afforded him can be lost or overlooked. Longing or coveting the acclaim of well known churches and pastors will only lead to futility and failure. Preachers must learn to be themselves and to be who God wants them to be. There will be some surprises when we reach heaven and the rewards are distributed. I believe there will be many unsung heroes that received little acclaim on this earth, but will have great reward one day heaven.

There is no place for pride, but the man of God must recognize that he is doing the greatest work in the world. God has called him to labor in a special field with special opportunities. There are no small ministries, because every ministry is God's work.           Treat your work with the esteem it deserves.