Posts tagged Small Church Initiative
Turning the World Upside Down

by Camille Josey

In one generation God used the small house churches of the early Christian movement to turn the world upside down. By the 4th century, Christianity had spread across the width and breadth of the Roman Empire. No master plan, no vision statement (aside from “Jesus is Lord.”), no CNN. Why, then, do so many small churches in the West today feel so insignificant, as though they do not have the resources to continue the spread of the Gospel?

It’s all a matter of perspective. If your measurements are the traditional budgets, buildings and butts in the pew, a small rural church of 70 members is bound to feel inferior to a 7,000-member church. But take a look from another angle. The first map, labeled >1000 members reflects a total membership of approximately 309,000. What do you notice here? Do you see all of the geographical territory of the U.S.A. that is not reached by these congregations?

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We Are Not So Small When We Are Together

My relationship with the small church has been an on again, off again relationship. I grew up in a small congregation where my faith was formed, I was confirmed, served as a junior elder and as a youth leader. In my young adult years, however, I became disillusioned when the congregation refused to have anything to do with the Vietnamese refugees settling in the neighborhoods around the church.

That’s when I moved my membership to a mega church that had a robust community ministry. I spent the next 25 years in that worshiping community working on local mission projects, serving as chair of the newly formed global missions committee, teaching Sunday School and serving on the session. It was in the life of this congregation that I heard the call to ministry and where I was sponsored as a seminarian.

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