If You Are a Small Church Pastor, Jesus Was Too

Expert Infantry | Flickr
Expert Infantry | Flickr

Jesus was a small church pastor.

Every time I say that, people rush to remind me that massive crowds followed Jesus. Which, of course, is true.

It’s also true that Jesus is the founder, the savior, the builder and sustainer of the Church – all believers at all times and in all places. And, starting with 3,000 on the Day of Pentecost, that’s never been small.

But Jesus also had a very pastoral relationship with a specific group of people that, by virtually any definition, we would call a small church.

Jesus and Crowds

Jesus had an uncomfortable relationship with crowds.

Though he taught massive groups of people, he never pastored them. And he never chased after them – though they chased after him.

For instance, just before teaching and eventually feeding the 5,000 – the largest crowd recorded in the Gospels – Jesus called them “sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). That’s like calling them “a church without a pastor.”

Think about that. Jesus was physically present with them, but the Good Shepherd said the crowd had no shepherd. Clearly Jesus didn’t consider himself to be a pastor to the masses of people. At times, he actually worked hard to get away from the crowds (see Mark 6:31).

Instead, Jesus seemed to prefer the company of smaller groups.

Why? Because no one can pastor a group of people once they get beyond a certain size. That’s why healthy big churches have small groups where most of the pastoring takes place.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Karl Vaters