My spiritual roots are in a very small church in Texas.
How small? For one solid year, I was the only student—taught by the same teacher in Sunday School and Training Union.
We had 30 to 40 people each week, and if we ever hit 50, we felt revival had come. To my knowledge, we never had a full-time pastor; therefore, I was raised on the preaching and teaching of bivocational pastors.
Today, I want to take a few moments to share four reasons I am grateful God let me be raised in a small church.
1. Our small church was very committed to the Bible being the Word of God.
Our pastors taught the Bible. Our people believed the Bible. I was raised carrying my Bible to church every time we met. We participated in the teaching and preaching of God’s Word by opening our Bibles and following as our pastors taught us the Word of God.
In fact, our church was formed in the living room of our home. My parents were part of a group of people who left a church over biblical convictions.
I was way too young to remember the details, but I do remember how exciting it was when all these people began to worship and meet in our living room. Eventually, a church was formed: The Faith Baptist Church.
My parents were not graduates of high school or college, but they were lovers of the Word of God, and Mom taught it faithfully.
I remember when I left for college, their number one fear was that I would not come back believing the Bible was the Word of God. Therefore, my commitment to biblical inerrancy came from a very small membership church in Texas.
2. Our small church believed in the local church of Jesus Christ.
At Faith Baptist Church, if you were a member, you came to church. You were involved in a Sunday School class. You were probably a part of Training Union. You were involved on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night.
If you were not there, you were missed and checked on. If you began to fall away, you were approached. Therefore, we had a strong commitment to the local church.
As a child or a teenager, I never entertained the idea of not going to church. This was unheard of in our family and in our church. My parents would not have tolerated it and, quite honestly, nor would my church.
Therefore, I struggle continually with the lack of commitment I witness toward the local church of Jesus Christ. The main reason I have such a high passion for and a deep commitment to the local church is because of what I learned in my small church growing up.