“A Defense Of ‘Small’ Ministries” or “Littleness Of Man = Big God” or “Bigness of Man = Little God”

“Be not afraid little flock”  (Lord Jesus)


When Samuel was send by God to inform King Saul of his rejection by God, he said something like, “Ye did well when ye were small in thine own eyes” (Paraphrase). The point Samuel was making was this -When you were small, by your own estimate, God was big; but now that you have grown in your own estimate, God has become small in your eyes. The shrinking of God was evidenced by Saul’s actions in murdering many of God’s priests and offering a sacrifice himself when it was forbidden to do so. He felt he could by pass God’s ways and do as he pleased. He would be accepted, after all, he was King Saul. This was the same sin as Cain in offering the fruits of his own labor. This was the same sin as Nadab and Abihu in offering strange fire before the LORD God. These two were destroyed by fire and Cain was exiled from God’s Presence. So, too, must Saul be rejected. Peter was close to this line when he said he would die before denying Christ just after being told by Christ of his denial. These men all thought they had arrived and could by pass God’s methods as they were above them.

It has been seen repeatedly in Scripture that God would have His called ministers lead a little flock. Christ, Himself had only (12) twelve. He had whittled this (12) from (70) seventy. God caused Gideon to whittle his number of soldiers down to (300) three hundred from a much, much larger number. David was greatly punished when he numbered or counted his soldiers. You see, as the old hymn writer said, “There is nothing small when God is in it.” When Moses sent (12) twelve spies into the promised land they came back and said, “We be not able.” Many years later Joshua sent only (2) spies and they came back and said, “We be able.” Nothing is small when God is in it. It was the (12) twelve that “turned the world upside down” after Christ ascended. Again we refer to Moses, Moses in leading a great multitude chose out (70 seventy) men to help him. When God sent a prophet to give a message, He sent one for one with God is a majority.

I am not saying large ministries are bad. Some of these large ministries are broken up with assistant pastors that under shepherd a smaller number of believers of the the whole body. I suppose this would work as long as the under shepherds are properly vetted and it is apparent that they do have God’s call upon them. That being said, if a man is shepherding a small flock in a home or in a store front or even online, these “smaller” ministries should not be looked upon as nothing more than glorified small groups of the “greater and more blessed” mega church. Perspective…maybe the mega church is an over glorified small group.

In fact, let’s use perspective.  If a large church has say, (1000) one thousand members and only (10%) ten percent ever share the Gospel with any one and the smaller ministry of (25) twenty-five have (100%) one hundred percent of it’s flock sharing the Gospel, which is more effective?  How about this, the same large church has (25 %) twenty-five percent attending it’s Sunday night or Wednesday night services and the small ministry has all (100%) one hundren percent of it’s “little flock” attending which is more effective? I know even with the percentage the larger church still has more but look in terms of devotedness.

I’m not saying the small church is better than the large church and I’m not saying it isn’t, all i’m saying is, “There is nothing small when God is in it.”  We’re saying that a minister of (25) twenty-five is just as valuable and pleasing to God as the larger church. As our Lord said, “Where (2) two or (3) three are present, there am I in the midst.”  If a minster of a larger flock is puffed up by a vast number of members and this causes his to look down upon a small ministry, he has grown to big in his own sight and it is impossible for God not to shrink in that same view point. If a minister of a small flock is sinfully ambitious in his desire to grow, he has lost his way.

I know of a pastor that pastors a church of roughly (70) members and he has been there for just under (2) two decades and this is almost unheard as most pastors, in general, stay at a church for (3.5) three and a half years before departing. This pastoris little compensated, in financial terms, but he is faithful and he loves God and God’s people. I know of another pastor who started a church in a store front and was told by a guest speaker that he was an over-glorified Sunday School teacher because of the size of his ministry. The man who passed this judgment is now in prison. He was no more than an over glorified con man. He had come in as a guest speaker in this man’s over “glorified Sunday school class” and spoke an hour in terms that no one or very few persons could understand…disgusting. This “over glorified Sunday School” has now moved on to become the (70) member church pastored by the loving pastor I previously spoke about above. This (70) seventy member church was approached by a very “big named” preacher and was asked to merge with his larger ministry. They would not merge.

“There is nothing small when God is in it” and there is nothing big about a large church if God is absent from it. There is nothing small about the minister of a small flock if God be with him and there is nothing big about a big name if God is not…well maybe he is a big named con. I can think of other big named ministers as well that were worshipped by their large flock and they too, are in prison for crimes that should not be named, even among the lost.

I know of another “pastor” that is salivating over the idea of groth for growth’s sake. This pastor, after almost (2) two years has not bothered to visit or call a woman who was a member of that church for over (50) fifty years. She has gone through at least (8) eight or more pastors at said church. She drove the church bus for a decade or so, she was the main person to keep that church in ship shape condition for decades and this growth and youth obsessed “minister” has not even made the call to this woman after (2) two major surgeries!!! I remember preaching at said church and it was due to this minister having his arm twisted that I was asked to preach and not many were open to my message, as he made it obvious that he wasn’t happy about my being there. Diotrephes he is. To be fair this is my view of the story and I do love the woman ignored, so he may have another view but I have a hard time conceiving of what it might be.

As God makes each one of us feel like we are His favourite and that we have His undivided attention, so should the pastor of a flock be with those he has been called to under shepherd. I am glad to know that most of the pastors I know take this call seriously and they do love their flock. They are more than honoured to be called pastor or preacher and they love to be called upon by their flock to counsel and to give spiritual and all manner of aid, just as does our Good Shepherd, that gave His life for His Sheep, and has taken it up again to guard, and guide His flock by His well known and most blessed Voice.

Always remember this paradox, God speaks in a still small voice to His little flock that is His little remnant on that narrow pathway and there is nothing small if God is in it and that means you who are indwelt are not small to God.


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