3. In our small church, we were taught how to share our faith in Jesus Christ.
As an older child and teenager, I was involved in weekly visitation. This was not a time to simply check on those who were not there; our main role was to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
I remember as a teenager, we were taught how to use the Four Spiritual Laws and how to give our testimony. Then, we walked down the streets of a nearby city and shared our faith in Jesus Christ.
I learned to share my faith in Jesus Christ and win people to Christ because a small membership church equipped me and expected me to do it.
4. Our small church was led by bivocational pastors.
As far as I remember, every one of our pastors was bivocational.
I probably did not appreciate it then like I do today. Some were school teachers, others were salesmen, others carpenters and painters, and others were even students. None of our pastors stayed very long. Perhaps that was because they didn’t live in our town and had to commute, they actually went to other churches, or our church did not or was not able to take care of them.
What I do know is that these men were faithful men. They worked 40 or more hours a week, commuted from nearby cities to pastor our church, and faithfully taught us the Word of God. Looking back, I don’t know how they did it all!
Today, those men and other bivocational pastors are heroes to me. My friend, Dr. Kevin Ezell of the North American Mission Board, says they are like Iron Men. I agree completely.
I don’t like categorizing churches by saying they are large or small; in fact, I don’t like it at all. I really believe that God does not look at the size of a church as much as a church’s faithfulness to the task and opportunity given to them.
I have no idea why God has called me to pastor a church like Cross Church. What I do know is that my spiritual roots from growing up in a small membership church still anchor my soul in the Word of God, the local church, the Great Commission and a deep belief in God-called pastors.
This is why I am filled with a sense of deep gratitude for the church where I was raised and that invested in me faithfully.