I serve as pastor of a SMALL rural church in Northwest Georgia. Now when I say small, I mean small. Despite my oratorical excellence and my sound theology, I consider it an exceptional Sunday if there are fifty folks in worship. So, we are a small membership church, BUT ...
Sunday evening I completed the day by changing the sign in front of the church and displaying a banner. Here's the banner:
Here's the sign:
You see, this small church every Monday evening provides a free meal to anyone who wants to come in and partake, and, in addition, carries meals out into the community to homebound folks. (Full disclosure: we don't start serving the meals until 5:00 even though the banner says 4:30. We just can't afford to buy a new banner.)
The sign announces a free vaccination clinic for pets on Saturday of this week. In cooperation with the Echota Advocacy and Pet Rescue Group, this little church, twice a year, provides free vaccinations for anyone who brings their pets. The event starts at 1:00, but by noon there's a line around the church.
In addition, over the last decade this small church has sent members out on mission trips twice to Mexico, once to Haiti, Fiji, Peru, and twice to Appalachia.
Every year, on the Saturday before school starts, this small church, that conceived the project, coordinates, in cooperation with two other churches, providing every child certified by the school systems' family advocates as being indigent with new clothes (shopped indivudually for each child whose sizes were supplied by the family advocates), a book bag, grade and indivudual school appropriate school supplies, and a haircut for the boys and a beauty treatment for the girls.
Over the last ten years this small church has sponsored three transitional houses for homeless women with children, has sponsored a missionary family to Peru, opened the church to a community yard sale for anyone who wants to buy or sell without any charge to the participants, allowed youth bands to have secular rock concerts in the church, established a policy of helping anyone in need who comes to the church for help (Our philosophy is if they are ripping us off it's God's problem.). And joyfully welcomed anyone who wants to come to be part of the fellowship, regardless of their sexual orientation, religious background, race, or ability to sing on key during the hymns.
Each year, on the first Saturday in February, the church sponsors a Women's Retreat that attracts ladies from up to three states to hear the outstanding speakers, to join in the singing and fellowship, and to gobble up the food.
Wait! Did I mention the scouts? How about feeding the local football team before the Friday night game? The annual community Easter egg hunt. Did I mention that all of the above is done in a spirit of service and not evangelism?
The day I retired, Bishop Lindsey Davis asked me to fill-in at this church until he could find someone to appoint here. Two bishops later, I'm wondering if I had pissed Bishop Davis off and he was getting even.
You know, I've been attributing my flagging energy at the end of the day to my age. But after listing the above, I'm of the mind that the reason I'm sometimes tired is I'm the pastor of the BIGGEST LITTLE CHURCH in Georgia.
Now, I need to take a nap. There's no telling what project they'll come up with next.