I pastor a small church. I write a small blog. These are good things.
I know I’m supposed to want my church to be huge, and sometimes I do, but often I don’t. Sure, I wish I didn’t have to water the grass, or take out the trash, or unlock the door, but it’s quiet, and lovely, and there is room for schizophrenics, donut men, tattooed diabetics, alcoholics, and folks that just need to retreat to a quiet space and a listening ear. God must want us small. I hope he keeps paying the bills.
This morning I read some blogs. Some blogs feel like large churches. There are dozens or hundreds of comments for postings and thousands of page views. Part of my heart gets envious until I realize that I’d be annoyed if I had to manage a blog like that.
A lot of my love of smallness is selfishness and laziness. People can wear me out sometimes. I like people, but sometimes I just like the quiet, arms-length interaction that a book, a good blog read, or a gentle cool breeze offers.
Tomorrow when there are only 60 or so people in church on an early summer Sunday I won’t fret about the empty seats. Bradley can ask me why I used different words for God’s greeting. John can look at me wearily as I ask him how he’s doing. Nancy will have her tale of woe for the week. Neal will look at me and ask with concern “but how are YOU doing?” Jack and Joe will have their warm, encouraging smiles for me. Nina will give me a hard time because she loves me. Doug will bring in the mail. Greg will stand in back with mirror glasses and 4 layers of clothing scaring the visitors. HJ will hand out bulletins with his infectious, down-south-moved-to-California drawl. Brittany will grab all the attention she can. Roger will faithfully man the AV booth as he has for the last 13 years. Pete will pick just the right song for reasons most won’t comprehend. These are just a few of the glorious few I will see and love.
There will be a visitor or three, but most won’t stick. The sermon was strange. The music wasn’t what they wanted. There weren’t enough young families or children’s programs or available singles. The emergency felt-need that sent them desperately to a random local church subsided. There are better places to go.
God will meet me at my small church. God will speak to me through a thousand little blogs that no one reads more than once. Jesus will be with us when only two or three are gathered. In these small places he will refresh my soul.