While we often read and hear stories of the big companies and larger churches in our communities, statistics reflect that the significant majority of businesses (99 percent in fact) and churches are small.
Blessing of being Small
Perhaps there is something to be said for the blessing of being small that our culture often chooses to ignore. For such a time as this, in the midst of a rapidly changing context of church and ministry, I am blessed to serve as a pastor of a relatively small church. The journey of being pastor has been far from easy, yet it has also been a journey filled with blessings that I could never have imagined decades ago—blessings that have helped me celebrate that I am called to lead in a small church on a Big Mission.
In the fall of 2017, the book Small Church on a Big Mission: Cultivating Missional Discipleship in Smaller Churches was published by 3DM Publishing as a journal of discovery. It chronicles my discovery of who I am as a beloved child of God and reflects the character and competencies that God has been developing in me over the last fifteen-plus years through a variety of ministry experiences. Most importantly, this is a journal of discovery in the call of discipleship and mission that God has placed on my life. This journey of discovery has led me to celebrate the blessings of being small while engaging in the Big Mission of revealing the Kingdom of God as we make disciples who make disciples.
Go Slow to Go Far
If you are looking for a new program that will provide you with a “let’s grow the church fast” strategy, you might as well stop reading. I have come to realize that when it comes to culture change – you have to go slow to go far. In reality, revolutionary cultural change often feels like it is moving at an evolutionary pace.
3 Next Steps
If you are looking for practical principles for shaping your culture toward discipleship and mission that celebrate the bigness of God’s Kingdom, then I invite you to do three things:
- Get some Information – pick up a copy of Small church on a BIG Mission with its focus on Personal Transformation, Practical Realities, and Purposeful Direction.
- Follow someone who is worthy of Imitation – this was the most important step for me as I received coaching, encouragement, and challenge to grow in my character and competency as a disciple-making leader.
- Avoid the temptation toward Innovation – yep, you heard me correctly. Don’t just grab this book and try to overlay it on your context as a program. Instead, like the disciples who journeyed with Jesus – plan to abide and BE during a season of apprenticeship. Trust that the Holy Spirit will guide you and tell you when the right time to move forward applying appropriate Innovation as you use these tools and resources of discipleship in your context.
To connect with Jeff Allen, or to learn more about resources for discipleship and being a Small church on a BIG Mission – go to www.smallchurchbigmission.org or email Jeff at: firstname.lastname@example.org