Three ways smaller churches can serve their communities
Numerically, smaller churches dominate U.S. life. They should also be key parts of the mission.
There is much benefit, therefore, in identifying various ways that smaller churches can reach their communities and beyond for Christ. This chapter will identify and briefly expound a few ways small churches can be mission-minded, both locally and globally. They are in no particular order of preference or importance, and there is certainly no expectation that a church on mission would only select one of these opportunities. Many coalesce together and can be seamlessly integrated to form a more fully orbed missional church.
Small churches can serve the hurting and the poor.
Today, churches are known for many things, but meeting the needs of the hurting and poor is rarely (if ever) one of them. If we join Jesus on his mission, I think we too will serve those who are hurting. In fact, I think the world is often confused when they see a church that claims to follow Jesus but is not actually doing much of what Jesus did.
They know he healed the sick and ministered to the hurting, and they wonder why a church would be unengaged in these areas. To paraphrase Ghandi, “Why do your Christians look so little like your Jesus?”
Think back to the early church. One of the primary activities they were known for was serving the poor. As one Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate, wrote:
These [Christians] not only feed their own, but ours also; welcoming them with their [love], they attract them, as children are attracted with cakes . . . Whilst the pagan priests neglect the poor, the hated [Christians] devote themselves to works of charity, and by a display of false compassion have established and given effect to their pernicious errors. Such ...