From the Parsonage…
I just realized summer is almost over! July marked our one year anniversary at Maineville, and, of course, that year was really busy as we made adjustments from 14 years in Bethel to the appointment here. Surprisingly, the changes weren’t nearly as difficult as we expected, and,
at this point, it seems like we’ve always been part of this church and community! I know that’s largely due to the warm and loving reception
we received, and I am truly thankful for my church family…especially
Looking back over the last year, I’ve become aware once again of the beauty of a small church. In this era of “mega” churches, it’s sometimes easy to become discouraged at the size of your congregation and the difficulty in attracting new members. But I’m convinced that there is a need for exactly what the smaller church has to offer…a pastor who really knows his flock and members who really care for one another! It’s actually nice to know your absence on Sunday morning is noticed and you’re genuinely missed.
Years ago, most churches were like that. People attended the local churches in their communities, which meant that they were also with their neighbors and, often, their extended family members. Children were surrounded by their neighborhood friends and schoolmates. Social activities revolved around the church, and everyone knew each other. Sermons were based on firm Biblical truths, and pastors were more afraid of offending God than of offending the culture. Sadly, it seems like those days are gone.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m not putting down large churches. During my lifetime, I’ve been a member of large and small congregations, and I believe there’s a place for each in God’s plan. What I am saying is that the value or success of a church isn’t determined by its growth in size, but only by the individual growth of its members. That individual growth is what determines the spirit of the church, its heart, its missions, its activities, and its influence on those around it.
That’s what I love about our church! We’re a family church, blessed with people who support monthly missions, a school in Haiti, and various local organizations, as well as individual charities. We have solid messages, three well attended Bible studies, active committees, and a dedicated choir. We also hold monthly church luncheons and try to reach the community each year through our Easter events, Trunk or Treat, Thanksgiving Dinner & Craft Sale, and Christmas Cantata.
Physically, we’re a local church that’s retained the charm of yesterday, while adding the best of today. Our congregation may not be large, but our church facilities are well maintained and roomy with modern amenities in our overhead screen, sound system, fellowship hall, and kitchen. We’re ready to welcome new members, and I think they’re out there! Maybe they just need an invitation…to see the beauty of a small church!
“O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and
the place where your glory dwells.”