When The Small Church Pastor is More Neanderthal Than Pastor

imagesPoor Elijah. He’s just come off of possibly the highest point of his career (single-handedly, with some help from God, defeating 400 prophets of Baal) and now he’s on the run, scared to death, fleeing from the threats of Jezebel, wife of Ahab the king. ( I Kings 19) I found verse nineteen of chapter nineteen funny, “…and he went into a cave.”

Do you have a tendency to retreat into a cave? Maybe it’s the cave of depression or discouragement, maybe the cave of isolation or self-pity. For some it is a cave of anger. Perhaps Elijah was feeling all of this. But for whatever reason, there he is, in a cave and God tells him, “…go outside and wait for me.”

First comes a great wind…but that wasn’t God. Then an earthquake…but that wasn’t God either. Next, a fire…nope, not God. Then, a still small voice. You know the rest of the story.

There are times when God seems to be moving in our churches and times when he seems to be stationary…or possibly even absent. But the truth is…God is always moving in our ministries. Oh it might not look like fire, or a mighty rushing wind…but somewhere, somewhere you’ll find the still small voice. Someone received direction or comfort from a word you spoke. Someone is making progress in his or her faith. Someone is becoming a better father or mother. Someone is a little closer to Jesus than they were before they began coming to your church.

It’s nice when the winds blow and the earth shakes but the norm seems to be the little things occurring in our church, with our people, the little things that add up over months and years. Welcome the fire but rely on the whisper of God’s work to see you through.

Why not pick up a pen and paper and draw up a list of some of the small things God is doing in the lives of your people and let the still small voice encourage you today.