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Pastor's Thoughts

Small is the True Big

            Maybe you’ve heard me talk about the conference my family and I attended in Branson called MB125. It is a conference designed to encourage and equip pastors and their families for ministry to churches of 125 or less in attendance. We returned home inspired by the great speakers that addressed the issues facing churches like ours.

            One inspirational speaker was Dr. Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In one of his sessions, he spoke on the topic, “Small is the True Big.” He used a variety of statistics to show that God has used smaller Southern Baptist churches in truly big ways. For instance, churches that have worship attendance of less than 250 people gave 195 million dollars to the Cooperative Program in 2013 compared to 85 million given by large churches. Also, 40% of churches in the Southern Baptist Convention report 50 people or less in Sunday morning attendance. Nearly half of SBC churches have under 50 people on Sundays!

            Now the reality is that our smaller churches are baptizing less than we could. Even though 40% of SBC churches have under 50 people in attendance on Sunday morning, just 10% of the total baptisms done by SBC churches came from those churches. Dr. Kelley was very wise and kind in pointing out that this is due to a lack of sharing the Gospel (pastors included!) and a lack of strategy for making disciples of Jesus Christ. This really hit home with me as I realized I need to focus my leadership in this area for Holden FBC. It begins with the pastor personally making disciples, then formulating a church-wide plan and training members. I believe as we make progress in this area, God will be faithful to multiply disciples of Jesus Christ in and through Holden FBC! I am really grateful to God for the Missouri Baptist Convention for hosting this conference!                                                                              Pastor Justin

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