When I was 17 years old, I got both my driver’s license and a car. My mother bought a new car, and gave me her old one. I was the proud recipient of a 1973, mint green, Chevy Impala 9-Passenger Station Wagon. It was a kid-cruiser, a grocery-getter. And it also took a four-lane highway to do a U-turn… unless that turn was on solid ice.
My next car was a German Opel. It was small. I could get into, and out of, the smallest of parking spaces, and I could do a U-turn on a sidewalk. Well, almost. I found out that when it comes to cars, the smaller the car, the easier and quicker the turns. For the record, I’ve never owned, driven, or even seen – a Lamborghini!
What’s true for cars is also true for churches. The smaller the church, the easier and quicker the turns. If you pastor a small church, you are able to change things quickly, often on the fly. That is a perk every small church pastor should enjoy, and utilize.
It happened to me, and for me, this morning. Jonny and I spent a fair amount of energy preparing a tag team message for this weekend. We invested prayer, discussion, debate, a short shouting match, and much study into this message. We achieved some serious spiritual and emotional focus. We practiced it on Saturday night, and went home prepared, and excited, having asked God to do his work on Sunday morning, the work we could not do.
On Sunday morning I taught a Membership Class with 15 people from 8:30 – 10:00am. Our service starts at 10:30. At 9:55am, as I was landing the “Membership Class plane”, Jonny walked in and whispered in my ear, “we’re headed to Sioux Falls.” That meant he was leaving right then, at the last minute, to tend to an emergency situation. He quickly turned and walked out, waiting for no reply from me. He didn’t need one. He would not be with me to give the message.
Could I do it myself? I sure could. No problem. But we had a special guest with us this weekend. He had spoken to some adult classes in the auditorium during the 9:00 Sunday School hour. He was phenomenal. “God, are you giving me an opportunity here?” I wondered if God was allowing this guest and me to, last minute, tag team the morning service together?
At 10:20 I met with this man, Eric, in my office – ten minutes, mind you, before the service would start. He agreed with me that the Holy Spirit was leading us to do the service together. He was so ready in his heart to share with our people in this "moment". Our prepared message would wait another week. Eric and I were on!
After talking with the morning service coordinator at 10:25, Eric and I spent five minutes in prayer, asking God to use this service to minister to the people who were there. There were just over 200 people in the service this weekend – hence, our “200church.” J
Eric shared passionately about his commitment to orphan care in Nigeria, his native country. He talked about what God was doing through his orphanage there, the Cornerstone of Hope. I played a somewhat cameo role, but was able to tie in his passion with the theme of our current series. It was a fantastic service.
Truthfully, I left a lot of details about this weekend out of this blog post. It was really an amazing weekend, in both good, and difficult ways. But throughout Sunday morning I was so aware of God directing us, and the size of our church helping us pull off some necessary and wonderful last minute changes. In a 1973 Family Wagon Church, I would never have been able to pull off changing the service in literally five minutes, but in my Lamborghini Church it was not only possible, but fun!
In our 200churches, we can do this. It is a pleasure and a privilege. I enjoyed it and am thankful for it. We pulled it off, and people were blessed.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Pastor, are you thankful, or resentful, for your small church? You can focus on the positives, or the negatives. Choose to focus on the positives – the benefits, the opportunities, and the blessings of small church ministry. When you do that, you will BLESS your people!
Your Lamborghini church is making a difference in the Kingdom of God!
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