Thursday, July 15, 2010

Great Things Happen In Small Places

From It's Like Herding Cats - A pastor's life

The majority of churches in the Southern Baptist Convention are not filled with thousands of people. They're not filled with hundreds of people. The vast majority are smaller churches with less than 200 members. Of those churches the vast majority of them are not filled either. And yet, great things happen there.

Year after year, the churches that make up the SBC meet in their annual meeting and vote another large church pastor to shepherd the denomination's efforts. The size and scope of those efforts are immense. The largest number of permanently funded missionaries. The biggest number of seminaries and the largest number of seminary graduates. Disaster response on a scale that has the Red Cross and Salvation Army asking for SBC help. Maybe that's why men from large churches are always picked. They have first hand knowledge of large organizations.

Well, here in Valparaiso Florida USA and through small churches all over the SBC world, great things are happening.

I was asked the question recently, "What's the best compliment you have ever received in the ministry?"

That made me think. My answer came after reflecting on just what the church I have been given to serve and to care for has done over the years.

"Your church does more ministry with less than any church I have ever seen." It was a comment given at our "Advent Conspiracy" store's open house last November. The comment could have been said to any member of New Hope. We did it together.

From It's Like Herding Cats - A pastor's life

We have sent shoes to Soles 4 Souls twice and have the materials to do it again. The sight of people leaving their shoes behind in the sanctuary and walking out into the world gets me every time.

From It's Like Herding Cats - A pastor's life

We've fed, clothed and housed orphans through the SBC's and FLBC's system and through Amazima, World Vision, and Compassion. Individuals, classes, and the church as a whole now have sons and daughters all across the world.

We've given life to people dying for lack of clean water through our contributions and partnership with The Water Project as well as through the efforts of the SBC. Our first effort helped build a well in Kenya at GPS Coordinates: Latitude -0.355350 Longitude 34.628833 that is serving 400 people. This is what they had before.

Right now we are collecting money to drill a well for people in the Sudan. have any of us been there? No. But God is there and He's called us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Led by our girls ministry, we've given stainless steel bowls to kids in Haiti, formula to orphans in Honduras, VBS materials to the Ukraine, blankets to elder Navajo, and sent an amazing contribution to LOVE 146, an organization that is working to end human trafficking.

We've gathered, packed and sent off with love 20 "Buckets of Hope" that are feeding Haitian families as you read this.

From It's Like Herding Cats - A pastor's life

There's so much more, including what one of our Bible Study class did just a couple of hours ago feeding some tired and hungry World Changers over in Ft Walton Beach lunch and making sure the team of 15 teens and adults are well hydrated and cared for.

If you see our folks out and about long enough, chances are you'll see them wearing T-shirts like this one that helped a couple adopt an Ethiopian child.

From It's Like Herding Cats - A pastor's life

or this one that fed a child for three months

Or any of several others that made sure kids got treatment for HIV, or people got clean water, or you might see the Toms shoes on someone that by their purchase made sure someone else got a pair too.

There's more but here's the deal.


And God led, encouraged, and empowered the people of New Hope Baptist Church whose numbers don't seem to count for much in the SBC scheme of things to do them. It gives me chills to think that I was here when God did such amazing things that literally have changed the world.

So if you are looking for a place to learn about what God is like, what God's people do, and don't care what size the buildings are - if you want to worship, fellowship, love and serve with people who have a God THAT BIG - then come see us.

Cause Great Things Happen In Small Places.

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