With the Holy Spirit, God’s favor, and His direction, the Hillsville Church of God has begun to understand that being a small church is not a problem, but a different way to do ministry. The best advice I have ever received was “Love the people, love the community, and God will take care of the rest.”
We have realized that filling our church is not our first priority. Our goal is to see lives changed and God’s Kingdom advance. We focus on being there for people where they are instead of trying to get them to come to us. God opens new and amazing opportunities all the time. Our church has grown due to the lives we’ve touched, but more importantly it has grown spiritually because the congregation has the right mindset. I am blessed by compliments of how loving and caring our church is all the time and I love being their pastor!
The most unusual ministry we have started began in mid-April 2015 and has grown and adapted to be a beautiful testimony to our community and local churches. After two years of praying, fasting, and running, we started a Bible Study at our local sports bar, The Mason Jar. Yes, I said BAR! Most of the people that attend the study are members of our church, however, we have been able to minister to a lot of hurting, scared, and broken people just because we came to them. This unusual ministry approach has broken down some preconceived ideas about Christians in our community. I’ve seen complete strangers feel comfortable enough to come up and ask questions and talk openly with me regarding a broad range of issues. Most of these people will never grace the doors of our church, but they are still a part of us.
We have had our ups and downs but that is part of the process. We have learned that it is really not the size of our church or event, it’s the quality. I know that sounds cliché but it really is the truth. Our outreach initiatives have fueled an excitement within our people to share the gospel and be better prepared through growing in God’s Word. Our children’s ministry has demonstrated this best by starting an outreach that takes donations all year long so they can give out gift bags at a local nursing home at Christmas. That’s making disciples!
I’ve seen the fruits of being obedient to the Lord even when it seems odd. This has happened through new relationships with local people, churches, community groups, and the local government. It has not always been easy, but we try to be humble servants and fulfill the Great Commission. It is my desire to see every church use its unique opportunities to advance the Kingdom of God.
Regardless of the size of your church, you are a vital part of what God wants to do through the Church in these last days.
Senior Pastor Gerald Humphery
Hillsville Church of God
Posted on Thu, January 14, 2016
by Kathy Clark filed under