Wow, what an amazing day Saturday, November 17 was!
One day after a snowstorm, 85+ pastors, lay leaders, and Christian workers gathered at the First Baptist Church of Dexter, Maine for our Small Town Summit to sing together, eat together, worship Christ together, and consider together how the gospel of Jesus Christ distinctively shapes ministry in small places. New friendships and gospel partnerships began, and some who hadn’t seen each other for many years had the opportunity to re-connect. Our main sessions focused on the gospel shape of small-place ministry, preaching in small places, and fighting for joy in small places. In breakout sessions, we learned about family worship in small places, cultivating the life of the mind in small places, transitioning pastoral leadership successfully in small places, cultivating a Word-filled women’s ministry in small places, and revitalizing churches in small places.
This was our third Summit. We’ve now gathered leaders in the small places of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. In each case, we’ve been amazed and encouraged by the skilled, godly, passionate, humble Christian laypeople and pastors who are pouring out their lives for the glory of Christ in places many people overlook. Yesterday we met several bi-vocational pastors who are reaching their communities both inside and outside the church walls. We met a man wrestling with whether to remain in marketplace ministry or to enter church-based ministry. We met church planters, intentional interim pastors, women seeking to cultivate women’s ministries that will reach and resource those around them with the Bible, and many, many others. Some pastors at the Summit had been in ministry for 30+ years, some for 10 months. As we reflect upon how God is using these faithful, fruitful men and women, our hope is strong. God is on the move in Maine and beyond.
It gave us joy to partner at our Dexter Summit with The Gospel Coalition New England (the TGCNE Director, Paul Buckley, spent the day with us) and the Gospel Alliance of Maine, and we were well-fed and well-served by the wonderful people of the First Baptist Church of Dexter.
Please pray for the small places of Maine, that they will see and embrace the life-changing glory of God in Christ.