Small-Minded

Lately I've been considering the way our culture has made us think that our value comes from our popularity - having trendy blogs, mega churches, or big ministries. Often, it can feel like high school on steroids; the competition to be popular distracts us from contentment within the boundary lines God has placed around us. I have suffered that mind-set far too long. By the grace of God,  I'm slowly learning to appreciate the concept of small, but valuable.

I started this blog 10 months ago, a few weeks after my family started attending our current church. I had already come to a point in my life where I wanted a quiet, simple, small life. I didn't realize that the Lord would emphasize that by directing us to a quiet, simple and small church, but He did. And He has used it to teach me plenty.

About my blog...

I will never have more than a handful of readers. I don't follow the latest social media trends and I certainly haven't spent any time crafting a brand for my blog. While I used to be tempted by thoughts of having a huge readership with lots of comments (that I would never keep up with anyway), I've seen that having a few kindred spirits here is a much larger blessing. My blog has a specific message, which, now that I think of it, may be my "brand".  It's one that will not appeal to many in our uber-busy culture (Daniel Montgomery has written a wonderful post about that here), but I will not change my message in order to gain popularity. Instead I will post when I have something to say and I will continue to pray that anyone who wanders here will find encouragement to live a quiet life.

About my friendships (online and off)...

I don't need to know what hundreds of friends and acquaintances are doing, thinking, or feeling. It's too much information for my brain to hold. It's both distracting and overwhelming. A few friends who love me well and allow me to love on them is a blessing beyond measure. Although I'm an introvert, I've challenged myself to invest more in friendships and to truly serve the people God has put in my life. This includes online friends.

About church...

The church we left behind was three times the size of our current church. We visited churches with two and three worship services. As much as I wondered how we would adjust if we'd chosen one of the mega churches we attended, I was also concerned about making a small congregation our family. Now I cannot imagine anything else. Our small church gives me a model of Acts 2:42-47 and Ephesians 4:1-16 in action. Our small church is a family.

About ministry...

My pastor is a wise, intelligent, and faithful servant. The world would most likely consider him mediocre because he doesn't want to grow our church past 250 members; they'd say he has no "vision". In truth, he wants to be involved in the lives of his flock. He would rather plant another church than grow ours to the point that he cannot personally minister to everyone. His example has been an exhortation to me, to be faithful in a few things rather than stretching myself too thin, and to recognize the boundaries that God has placed around me as a protection rather than a hindrance.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Melissa. I find it overwhelming to keep up with a small church family! I think about a lot of these same things to. You write publicly, and yet you do not know who is reading. You want to share your message, but it is one that many don't share. I think it is a blessing to find those who do, and I am thankful for that! And thankful for you.

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  2. Thank you so much for writing this! The portion that resonated most with me is what you wrote about online relationships. You said, "A few friends who love me well and allow me to love on them is a blessing beyond measure." I spent a chunk of yesterday de-friending about 150 people. I need my circle to be a bit smaller and more reflective of off-line life. Does that make sense? I want to share with and invest in those who I know genuinely care for me and I for them, rather than sharing with so many people who only want to be "friends" from a great distance. It's not about the "followers" for my anymore. I want real relationship.

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  3. Yay for the quiet, small, ordinary, mundane life! Thank you for this. You encourage me as I (continue to) seek balance in my writing life and my "real" life.

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  4. I loved this Melissa. I love our new little church too. I admire pastors like ours who have "quietly" and faithfully served their flocks for years/decades.

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