‘A Christian married couple I know of had to move out of London and leave their church to go north with the husband’s job.
‘Much to the surprise of some of their long–term Christian pals they began attending the little and very local Anglican church in the village to which they had moved. The Christian friends of the couple had concerns. The church was small, the teaching was not heretical but it was not great, and there was nothing there for their four children.
‘It was while talking through these concerns one evening with one of their friends that the husband made a comment which was highly significant. He said, ‘How could we drive past one church to go to another?’ They felt, before God, they just could not do it.
‘They refused to dismiss the little church because it was in a poorly state. They were more concerned to help Christ’s cause there than they were for their own immediate welfare or ?enjoyment’ of the ministry.
‘To join a big and thriving church is not always wrong, but it is frequently the easy option. To join a little, needy congregation is not a decision to be taken lightly. It will probably require far more guts, love, resilience and spiritual exertion. But how the devil would love to herd Christians into a few big city centre churches, getting them to travel miles from their communities, and leaving vast tracts of our country with no viable witness for the gospel.
‘This book is written as a plea for Christians to think again about getting involved with a small church. Ask yourself the question, “How can we drive past one church to go to another?”’
About John Benton
John Benton is Director of Pastoral Support for The Pastors’ Academy at London Seminary, and Managing Editor of the monthly newspaper, Evangelicals Now. John & his wife Ann have written many books; some as a joint venture. They are in demand as conference speakers.