In the last church I pastored one of the values I attempted to instill in my people was that of personal humility. The Lord had been trying to teach me about embracing humility in my own life for some time. However challenging it was to discover what humility looks like, practically, I knew I wanted to pursue it and also wanted to pass it on as part of our DNA. So after the church was launched I looked for opportunities to teach on, pray for, and reinforce the value of personal humility. Our church never grew larger than 125 adults. The first three years went really well. The last three years were very difficult. The two years in the middle were somewhere in between the two extremes.
One day Ellen and I were reminiscing about the history of our final pastorate, how the church flourished, then struggled, then ended up a relatively small church. She made this statement, “We never dreamed when we prayed for God to make us a church known for it’s humility that He would do it the way He did. Here we were, small, insignificant, poor, weak. We wanted Him to work humility into us individually, not corporately.”
Not only does God want us to embrace humility in our personal lives, He also wants us to embrace humility corporately. God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. One scholar said that the Greek word for humble can be translated, “low to the earth, or close to the ground.” Is your church small? Do you live in the shadow of a larger church? Does your congregation seem low to the earth, close to the ground? Are you experiencing corporate humility? God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. Embrace it. I know it’s hard to do, but embrace it. Your small church is precious in the eyes of God. For some reason unknown to you or I God has chosen, at least for now, you to pastor a humble church. Embrace it. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Remain faithful to your call, faithful to your people, faithful to your God. Continue to do the best you know how to win the lost and make disciples of every nation. Embrace it. God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.
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