Small churches play big role in great commission
May 16th, 2017 / By: JC Davies / comments
AUSTIN—The small church is just as qualified to reach the nations as larger churches are, according to Kyle Ray, a speaker at an April 28 workshop session at the 2017 SENT Conference at Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin.
Like many other pastors across the state, Ray leads a small church. But despite averaging fewer than 75 people in attendance each Sunday, his congregation at Journey Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs has been active in taking the gospel to the nations, participating in more than 20 international mission trips within the last five years.
Ray encourages other small church pastors and leaders not to be held back in international missions because of fear or feelings of inferiority.
“The small church does present a unique set of circumstances when it comes to mission trips. There are all these reasons why we can’t go, but I believe that the small church is still God’s church,” he said. “So, as God has given the commission to his church, the small church has to realize that if they call themselves a church, that they too own the great commission the same as any other church in the world.”
In many respects, the supposed weaknesses of smaller churches—fewer people and resources—can be advantages in growing reliance on Christ to carry out the great commission calling, Ray said.
“The great commission is especially suited for the small church because the great commission presupposes utter dependency upon God.”
In preparing a small church to go overseas, Ray said two truths are important to remember. The first is to realize there is no other option, that every church is called to be part of reaching the nations.
“Understand that you own this responsibility. There are no excuses. God knows what you need to accomplish the mission, and he has given that to you in the Spirit and the Word. That is all you need. He will take care of the rest.”
The second key, Ray said, is to know and believe the truth that God wants his people, from churches of every size, to be part of his mission, not because of what they can offer, but because of his love for them.
“God has commissioned you for his mission, not because he needs you, but because he loves you,” he said. “Our weakness, our insignificance, brings glory to God when he uses us for his work.”