Monday, August 4, 2008


I like small.

Small towns, small churches, small cars and believe it or not, I love small houses. I like the intimacy of it. The cuteness...

It's just part of who I am.

It was three years ago this month that my husband accepted the call to pastor his first church. Small town, small church...we couldn't have been more excited. We knew that God had made us small-lovin' people, and we knew He had prepared us for this place...and were praying that He had prepared them for us!

About six months into my role as Pastor's wife, a group of ladies from my church and I went to bigger-town for a Ladies State Meeting (or something like that.) It was held at a rather large church that also runs a Christian school. It was my first "outing" with them as their Pastor's wife and I felt like an idiot to say the least. Not only was I one of the youngest Pastor's wives, (and not wearing panty-hose) I was the newbie. It got even better when they made all the pastor's wives stand up front to introduce ourselves and then have the ladies pray over us.

Before they prayed, the Pastor's wife of the large church said something that struck me that day. She said something to the affect that they were so happy to have each of us there and that no matter how small our church was, our ministry was just as important as the large churches.

And I thought to myself, "hmmm...I had never thought it wasn't until right now."

I've thought a lot about her words over the past few years. I know her intentions were most likely to encourage us smaller pastor's wives that our ministry was significant. What I wonder it the small churches who struggle with their significance or is it the big churches who struggle to see the importance of the small church?

My husband gets a magazine in the mail called Leadership. It's for pastors...but I will pretty much read anything in magazine form :) Yesterday, as I flipped through the latest issue, I found an amazing article.

A man named David Gibbons started a multi-ethnic mega church in California in the early 90's. It is still there, and thriving. In it's bigness though, he found something lacking. This pastor talks about his journey to his new ministry which is planting smaller churches, from 30-300 people each. He talks of the benefits of the smaller church, but admits to now having to help support his family with other outside jobs. He says, "I'm a better pastor because I have other occupations. My jobs change; my calling remains the same."

God used this little article to so encourage and affirm our little ministry yesterday. To think that this man, David Gibbons, had what many see to be the successful church, and yet decided to go make smaller really blew me away.

All size churches that are preaching the gospel are important...and all sized ministries are equally important. When I look at Jesus, there is no doubt in my mind that He would have gone upon that cross for the sins of just a few...

I am amazed at what God is doing the small things. And I'm praying today, that I never lose sight of that.

Bigger is not always better...for oh-so-many areas. Just reminding myself of that today.

Happy Monday Bloggy friends!


  1. Oh Sarah - I just love you!!!!
    You make my day every day! I am praying for your church and for the "small" church I am working for now. Your posts are always so great! Have a great day!

  2. You are so right on! I'm always reminding myself...if I'm impacting the life of just one person, it is worth it! Thanks for the encouragement.

    From one "small" pastor's wife to another...have a super day!

  3. i'm new here and you have captured my heart and mind already. we are in the ministry as well and i can't begin to describe how i ached reading this! we started in a "small" church and are now in one so big i have struggled miserably to be happy in. serving God is amazing and wonderful no matter where. but i sincerely miss the families, friendships, intimacy and love that a smaller group provides. i am envious of you new bloggy friend! and i appreciate your honesty here.

  4. The really big ones freak me out! I like to know everyone!

  5. Our large church is making a habit of planting churches in our area. On August 17th we will be leaving our large church of 12 years and heading out with the latest church plant. We are excited to be starting with so few to see what God will do! Thanks for your thoughts - I may for to keep looking this one up as a reminder.

  6. Wonderful, wonderful post. "is it the small churches who struggle with their significance or is it the big churches who struggle to see the importance of the small church?" Good, good stuff. It is so obvious that God put you two exactly where he wanted you. It's such an honor to witness the difference you are making in that town and how much you love those people. God is so good.

  7. Love it - small churches have such a freedom to be open to what God has for them. I went to a church in Keokuk this weekend and they had an open testimonial time yesterday, then a picnic in the park - and, oh, how I missed the small. Big churches have so much planning and accommodating and "rules" going on, sometimes I think we miss out on being real to each other. Happy Monday!

  8. I totally agree! There is no "small" minstry in God's kingdom. Jesus came for the "least of these"!

  9. My parents are members of a small church and I am often jealous of it and the close knit family they have there every time I visit. Small churches are HUGE blessings!

  10. Great thoughts Sarah. We have been conversing a lot about such things in our denomination as well as in our home.

    Even Christians are not exempt from judging success by the same ways as the world. It is a shame on us.

  11. We are pastors of a small church and I am so thankful! We are taking an all-church camping trip next weekend. What big church can take their entire congregation to the mountains for worship and fellowship? We have done the ministry to a big group on a shallow level and we have done the ministry to a few on a deeper level and we are so much more content where we are now. There is a place for the big churches in the kingdom (they have so many resources!) but it just isn't my calling either. Thanks for this post.

  12. We are glad you are where you are! I am so glad my God works in ways as varied as the people He created!

  13. Hmmm... My ministry has run the gambit: I grew up as a PK in tiny churches, attend a mid-sized church, and have worked for a mid-sized, a large, and a mega church. I have been so blessed to see so many sides of the coins, size-wise and denomonationally. And here's what I've learned: God has a purpose for each of them, and the purpose isn't in the's in the people. As long as each is fulfilling its place of purpose, then it is a beautiful, kingdom, God-glorifying thing. And when anybody tries to be or do what God *hasn't* called them to...well, let's just say it ain't so pretty. ;-)

    Lovin' where He's landed me,

  14. Sarah:

    What an inspiring post! " it the small churches who struggle with their significance or is it the big churches who struggle to see the importance of the small church?" Hmmm...that's a very interesting thought.

    I do not believe there is such a thing as a small ministry in the Kingdom of God. Ministry is seed planting, reaping and harvesting. The Bible teaches that just one seed planted in good soil will reap 100 fold....just one small seed!

    I am so glad that you are content and feel your significance. We must look to Christ for our significance and not man.

    I'm sure your church loves and appreciates their precious pastor's wife.:)


  15. Well said! We mistake size for significance, when the Lord looks at our faithfulness. There are no small ministries to Him! Great encouragement for a mom like me whose life is filled with the (seemingly) minuscule!

  16. Great Post!!

    For some reason when I finished reading it, the first things that came to mind was a hymn " Little Is Much When God Is In It" LOL =) One of the verses says: Does the place you're called to labor, seem so small and little known? It is great if God is in it, and He'll not forget his own!"

    Thanks for sharing!!


  17. Love your perspective, Sarah. Jesus would have died even if there was only one or two of us...He doesn't see size or numbers. The church we now attend is admittedly a large one, but I grew up in a very small church...and the friendships and bonds we had with one another was amazing.

  18. Awesome insights, Sarah. We've seen a number of small churches with just incredible ministries! I loved reading about David Gibbons. What an awesome testimony and confirmation! = )

  19. Truly a great post Sarah.

    I could clearly picture the scene when you thought this about her comment ,... "hmmm...I had never thought it wasn't until right now."

    I have often thought to myself when I attend any type of Minister's Conference, "why does it always have to be about the size of your church?"

    You have blessed me with your thoughts here.

  20. I don't know if you've ever read Jim Cymbala's books before... but as I read this post, it reminded me of some "stand out" statements from his book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire.

    "Jesus is not terribly impressed with religious commericalism. He is concerned not only whether we're doing God's work, but also how and why we're doing it."

    "Your future and mine are determined by this one thing: seeking after the Lord."

    No matter what the size of the ministry or church... if the heart of the ministry is focused on Him... He is there!

    I'm encouraged by this post & am excited to see God continue to do amzazing things through the work of your ministry in Tiny-Town.

  21. Thanks for your reflections! You rock! dave

  22. I have just discovered you & you are bringing back so many crazy memories of my 15 years as a pastors wife in a small town/church. We loved almost every minute of it truly! (Even VBS at first!)
    Now my hubby & I are Overseers of a Ministry School in the BIG church in the next town! Quite a switch but we love it just as much! Hm maybe because our ministry school is pretty much a small church! I will now read some more of you!

  23. Sarah,
    I am so happy to have found your site! I, too am a pastor's wife. This is the third small church my husband has pastored. Small churches can be wonderful as long as the people aren't "small minded." I don't mean that literally, of course, but many of the people want to remain small and balk at any suggestion to reach out and potentially grow!

    As long as the people have a heart for Christ and ministry, then the numbers don't matter!
    In Christ,


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