May 21

Written by Bill Grandi on May 21st, 2024

SIZE REALLY DOESN’T MATTER.

I’ve come to that settled conclusion. Now, lest someone get the very wrong idea that saying is a risque’ comment, let me correct you from the get-go.  Some can accuse me of clickbait with that comment, but let no one think I’m being off-color. Not even close.

For years I lived and breathed size. Church size. The bigger the church, the better it looked for me. Man, how wrong I was!! Obsessed with having a big church, I attended all the church growth seminars/conferences. I heard “How to break the 200/300 barrier” or “How to grow to this size” more than I care to admit. I heard, ad infinitum ad nauseum, how I needed to move from being a pastor to being a vision-casting, rule-making, control-freaking, domineering-leaning, take-it-or-leave-it pastor. Oops, I mean CEO. The title “pastor” no longer meant shepherd; it meant “I’m the boss and you’ll do it my way, accept my vision, agree to follow or don’t let the door hit you on the way out” kind of leader.  Can I scream now or later?

To my shame, I bought into that, BUT FORTUNATELY God knew my heart and personality better than I did at that time and knew I would NEVER feel comfortable sitting in an elevated chair of pomposity. The Scriptures also had a devastating effect on me: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (Js. 4:6).  “Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.” (Pr. 21:4) And here is one that came true: “No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord.” (Pr. 21:30)

As I said that latter one came true. It’s called being fired or in softer terms: Being strongly encouraged to move on.  God knew where my heart was. It was not in riding herd on sheep; it was not in trying to “beat them” into submission; it was not in threats or ultimatums; it WAS in being a shepherd. In loving the people in my care. In caring for them. In crying with them. In laughing with them. In doing life with them. In praying with and for them.

“Thank you Lord, that no one can stand against Your plans, especially me. I’m satisfied with a small church and people I love.  I would much rather be in a small church contented and knowing I am in Your will than in a much bigger church where I sound like a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal. I will forever be grateful for your reality check over 20 years ago.”

{Note: All Scripture is from the New Living Translation}

 

6 Comments so far ↓

  1. A true pastor, like you are now, is not about riding herd over your flock, but serving them with love and prayer. When you do so, you encourage so many to put their full faith and trust not in you, but in the One you serve.
    Blessings, Bill!

  2. Sally Carlson says:

    So glad you are here in our “small” church!

  3. gail says:

    Bill, I am happy you ended up at OVCF however your journey got you here. I am glad you are shepherd, to our church, and I consider you not only my Pastor but a friend as well. I do listen to sermons and read books from some mega churches and Pastors, but I am make sure that they first preach God’s word and then their lessons. When I was moving, Spencer was not on my radar, but God knew my heart and knew where I needed to be. Once again, God proves He knows better than I do. I really need to learn how to turn over the reigns to God, so much earlier in the process. I turn them over and then take them back, and when I get called out, I say, no I didn’t take the reigns I just misunderstood Your directions. I still have so much to learn.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’m so glad He led you here to OVCF Gail. Your ministry influence has been significant, especially knowing that you have my back in prayer. You are right. God does know best. If only we would trust Him and go there first, second and always.

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