I was glad to finally close the cover on this beautiful little book.
Why Join a small Church?
This is a question easily asked and barely answered. I loved reading what JB wrote – delving deeply in to the Bible and pondering what it might mean to be a someone who is more interested in the building of Jesus’ Kingdom than the leadership team of a particular expression of what it means to be church. It doesn’t mean that everyone should join a small church – but that the right answer for some people is to follow Gods leading in strange ways (in the world’s eyes).
This is a book(let). It deserves reading – even though it also invites people to pray and think about what the church is, and could be.
This is a deeply practical book. JB invites us (in chapter 1) to consider taking up the challenge – to go and be part of a small church. As the book goes on, so does this pastor’s wisdom – we are invited to think and pray through what problems we might face, why it matters (if it matters at all?) if small churches close, an invitation to make a small church into a great church, and ‘Encouragement for the task’, the chapter I think that makes this book worth buying:
“the potential of the church is far greater than we realise”
This is John’s key understanding – rooted in 1 Corinthians 3:16. From this, regardless of infrastructure, “The Lord is able to use small groups of Christians to transform whole communities“. This, in my limited experience, is utterly true. This is a wonderful invitation. JB goes on to mention his namesake – an uneducated man in the Methodist Revival – “The Lord is able to use the most unlikely people to do remarkable things“. I love this. This is the God of David and other sinners in the Old Testament. This is the God who invites sinners to participate in bringing the Kingdom. Why, you may ask? Well, this is because “The Lord Jesus has said he will build his church“, referencing the King’s words in Matthew 16:18. And how is this accomplished, is the easy question? JB provides an answer – “The Lord’s power is not dependent on great human resources“. This is a beautiful truth. Rooted in who God is and how he moves: “The power of God’s Spirit is available to all Christians“, which is ultimately because we drink of the everlasting water of Jesus. (John 7:38). This is the posture from which, in the Kingdom of God, we are invited into something more. As JB says, “The breakdown of secular society is a sign of how much each community needs a church“. This is a wonderful challenge and a sobering charge.
This is a beautiful book. We are invited, in its pages, to enter into something greater and stronger and bolder and bigger than what we are currently involved in.
I would widely recommend this book. But I leave the words with the author, JB, and hope you will consider them:
“To join a small church and be useful to God is the opportunity of a lifetime. But unless Christians take up the challenge within less than a lifetime that opportunity will be gone.
Why not join a small church?”