The photos above fill me with great joy and gospel hope, because they’re of nearly 50 gospel workers from all six New England states (and beyond) – pastors and elders who love Jesus and his gospel and his church, and who are pouring themselves out for his name’s sake in this time of coronavirus. Wow, the risen Christ is so very gracious to his church, to give these pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4.11). These men are from little towns and rural areas and they are laboring hard and pursuing Christ’s glory.
We gathered on Thursday, May 14, 2020 for our first online Small Town Summit, and these 50 pastors and elders prayed together for the church in New England and around the world. We received strong biblical encouragement from David Pinckney, who helped us consider a forward-thinking, practical approach to shepherding during this time. David urged us to consider rhythms (are we doing too much or too little? how should our rhythms change as we begin eventually to regather?), reasonableness (are we prone to comparison with other churches and pastors? to feelings of inferiority? are we being reasonable about what we can do with the gifts and resources God has given us?), rest (are we taking a day in seven to rest, enjoy family and creation, entrust our churches to God?), and reaching out (there’s remarkable gospel opportunity in this season, as many who don’t know Jesus are considering the big questions. Are we inviting online visitors to connect with us? Do we have an eye toward them in our preaching?)
Please pray for New England churches and church leaders. Pray for energy and vision and prayerfulness and boldness and tenderness and love. And thank the risen Christ that he gives such gifts to his church.