Ever heard of David Hogg? He taught Sunday school in Blantyre, Scotland, in the early 1800s. In the small church where he taught boys year after year, Hogg certainly had opportunities to question his significance. But his faithfulness and the Word of God ignited a love for the people of Africa in one of his students David Livingstone, who became arguably the greatest missionary to Africa in the 19th century, opening that continent to the gospel.
In the small church or those of us who are pastors of smaller churches, it can be easy to question the significance and impact we are having in our churches and communities compared with larger or more publicly recognized churches. Yet according to the Hartford Religious Institute, 61 percent of all Protestants attend churches with 499 or fewer weekly worshipers. That means the majority of Christians in America are being discipled and cared for in much-needed smaller and midsize churches, led by regular guys like us.
I love sitting in the front row. It’s been my vantage point at church for about 30 years now. Whether turning around to view everyone, going out and ministering to the people, standing to preach or watching our congregation do a processional for offerings or communion, I love seeing the people God has entrusted to our care. I remember how my heart would swell with love and pride for each person who would come to the front and pass by for those processionals.
As a pastor, you love your flock. You want the best for them. You desire and pray for each member that God has placed in your care to be strong in the faith, walk with Christ, hear His voice, understand and apply God’s Word to their lives, know their unique calling and gifting, and effectively minister to others—especially by helping new believers grow and by reaching out to this lost and dying world.
Where was God when Superstorm Sandy pounded the Eastern Seaboard, killing at least 50 and causing historic destruction? And where was God in 2011 when the tsunami and earthquake claimed more than 200,000 lives in Japan?
In the wake of such incredible loss and disaster, we struggle to understand how a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing can also be considered good and loving. Pastor and teacher Erwin Lutzer tackles this tough subject head-on in his book, Where Was God?
“The question of natural disasters is very important,” said Lutzer in a phone interview last year. “The Bible even records stories of natural disasters.” During our discussion, Lutzer answered a number of questions that are detailed in his book.
As the chairman of the board of governors for 40 Days to Save America, I am humbled to lead in a season of prayer.
In what could be the most momentous election of our lifetime, everyone wants to know, “Who will lead America for the next four years?” The answer should be obvious: He who has led us for the past 236 years of our national existence—the Lord God Almighty!
The vast majority of people in America realize and acknowledge that no one but God can save her. That’s why many have concluded that nothing short of a national awakening will do—hence, a call for prayer, fasting and action.
Choosing a president, members of Congress and governors is a sobering responsibility, especially given the multiple crises with which our nation is confronted. These men and women wield enormous power over the citizenry. The can confront the forces of evil that stalk us domestically and internationally, or ignore them. Our moral free-fall can continue, or they can call America back to its founding principles.