As you read this, I am in Kenya, Africa, where I will be preaching and teaching God’s Word until the 21st of August. Don’t worry, these devotional blogs will continue each weekday. Like any diligent pastor, I have no less than 3 months of blogs already prepared.
Today, American churchgoers and their pastors are largely concerned with numbers and increasing those numbers. That is the measure of success. A bigger budget, a bigger attendance, more decisions for Jesus, more water baptisms, more kids in Sunday school, plans for a bigger building. Faithfulness matters little.
I am the pastor of what by most standards is a very small congregation. My congregation, however, is great in its faithfulness. It is faithful to the study and daily application of God’s Word. It is faithful to love each other and honor its pastor. It seeks to bring glory to the Saviour by grace alone through faith alone. It is faithful to support God’s work around the world.
My congregation is missions-minded. When there wasn’t money to pay me, we still gave money to struggling churches in our own community. When I couldn’t afford a home telephone, we donated goods by the ton to the needy in the Philippines. When we didn’t have a building to meet in, we supported building churches in developing nations. And now they have given several thousand dollars out of their meager purses to send me to the other side of the world to preach to spiritually hungry Africans.
Tell me … would you rather sit in a church building with five thousand people drinking lattes and listening to the latest music fad from the church band as plans are being made to remodel the church auditorium or be with a handful of people sacrificing to be faithful to the call of God?
Not a hard choice for me.
I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept my word, and have not denied My name (Revelation 3:8).
Thank you, Sellwood Community Church, for being faithful.