Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The problems of the "National" Church

I am the pastor of a small congregation in a small town.

Very small. We get around 50 a Sunday, and our town is struggling to stay at 500. Kids move away, and most of them don't come back. In my first 4 years I did 12 adult instructions - and ever single one of them moved away to get a better job. Of the kids I've taken through confirmation, not a one still lives here anymore.

By all accounts, what I do here, on the "big" picture wouldn't seem to matter much. Wouldn't my talents be better used, maybe as a district planner. Why, I could be paid by some bureaucracy to plan an event - just think, what if I planned an event this year that got 500 people to show up for a day - wouldn't that be great.

No. It would be a step down.

Okay, I may only get 50 people on average -- but that's not 1 day, that's 52 Sundays. That's 2600.

I teach various bible studies, and I see on the average week around 20 different people (we'll keep the numbers round). 1040 people.

If you throw out the shut-ins, the personal consultations, things like that -- we'll toss in at least another 1000. Conservatively. This isn't counting blogs or my weekly e-mail devotional.

That's 4640 times directly giving the Gospel, teaching, shaping people. And this is at my incredibly small parish.

Let's multiply that by 3 for three years. 13920. We taut the national youth gathering for getting so many people, almost 2-3 times that... fair enough. But you know what - I serve, more efficiently, even in my own little parish, just being a pastor.

The problem is this - if you want "effective" ministry - you don't need programs or goals or visions - you simply need pastors out there preaching and teaching. Simple as that.

Just saying.

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