I’ve learned to keep my eye out for a steeple. It often peeks above a hill as I turn the corner and finally see the small church.
Oh, the Lord has had me share in some big churches with parking lots like theme parks, but mostly it’s been the small churches where I’ve found myself scooped up in hugs as soon as I step outside my car.
And it’s been the same in California, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Illinois as it has been in places like Missouri, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Lower Alabama.
It’s just been sweet.
So very sweet—the Spirit of the Lord in the small church working through a few faithful people with their eye on the King.
They have their eye out for the lonely, the poor, the hurting, and the broken.
They decorate tables, grill steaks, and make casseroles by the hundreds.
They fill their parking lots with cars and candy in the fall. They work for hours on Christmas plays and Easter Cantatas. They fill cup after cup of with apple juice and layout snack after snack for little hands to grab at VBS. They sit in small hard chairs to hear little voices stumble over AWANA verses.
How God uses His people in the small churches all over this world.
How blessed I’ve been to meet those who tirelessly serve there and take care of each other there.
Their names won’t ever be famous, but they don’t seem to mind at all. Their eye is on a different prize.
On Sundays, they shake hands and sing as purposefully look around their churches. Has God brought anyone new? Has the sweet pastor’s wife already greeted them? And they wonder, has that new face met the Savior?
It’s not that the big churches don’t do this. God surely uses the big churches too.
But maybe, it’s just more noticeable, that those in the small churches love so very big.
Maybe it is because it’s easier for them to know the visitor is a visitor and miss the member whose been missing lately.
Oh, those small churches are not perfect. But they are making a big difference.
I have no doubt God is using small churches in a big ways to change lives as the hurting and the lost find their way there.
So if this Sunday morning, your headed down the road to a small church, as you walk through the doors to familiar faces in that sweet place you’ve come to hundreds of times before, as you take your place in the choir, or serve in the nursery, or make your way to shake a new hand or hug an old friend….remember God is there.
The Spirit of the Lord is there preaching good news to the poor, binding up the broken-hearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives and setting the prisoners free. He’s at work comforting those who mourn. (Isa 61).
It’s so often there, where you are headed, that the Father brings the prodigal home and sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68).
Oh friend, your church may be small but your impact is big as God uses you to make disciples who make disciples.
What a treasure it is to go to the house of the Lord. What a gift to be part of His family in the big and little churches all across this world.
What a Savior we gather to praise! What a joy we have to share! For we love because He first loved us!! (1 John 4:19)
And friend, if you don’t have a church you call home, you should give it a try today. Look for the steeple just down the road. There’s sweet people there… ready to love you with the love of Christ!