Churches Partnering To Transform Lives and Communities
May 10-11, 2013
Four Points by Sheraton
Connecting Across Cultures
God is "doing a new thing" in our churches and we are called to participate and engage disciples across the generations.
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Reserve Your Hotel Room at the Four Points by April 24 for Our Special Rate!
When you call, identify yourself as a member of TABCOM for the special rate of $85.00 per night for a single or double plus room tax. Rooms will be held for us until April 24 at this rate. Call the hotel at 978-534-9000,to make your reservation.
By Tony Pappas Seventh in an ongoing series
Even by defining mega churches as those above 2,000 members, as many "church-ologists" do, TABCOM has very few! In fact, we are primarily a family of small churches. Yes, there are numerous exceptions. Still, most of our churches would be glad—thrilled even—to see 75 or even 50 in worship. Is this problematic?
Well, yes and no.
It is problematic if you are a member of such a church and remember the good old days when hundreds filled the sanctuary. Or, read about mega church and its multiple worship services (each attracting thousands). Or, compare yourself to the church in the next town over with its huge parking problems! This perspective results in lowered self-estimation, resulting in less ministry, and a decrease in hope for the future!
It is not problematic, however, if one takes a spiritual perspective. Consider what Jesus did with a group of 12. Moses with Aaron. Miriam confronting Pharaoh. David up against Goliath. Or, the early church where 30 worshipers would have been an enormous gathering. Our small numbers are not problematic for God and what God is doing in our midst. In fact, what God is doing is shaping small cells of believers who are committed to live into the fullness of gospel life. The support and accountability cannot be achieved in large groups. Face-to-face presence, knowledge over time, trust and honesty are all necessary. For these qualities to be in evidence, small numbers are required.
Of course, if we are just small and God is not working in our midst, well, then that is a problem!
Tony Pappas is the executive minister of The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts. Email him at email@example.com