Read Part 1 and Part 2.
Last Sunday was amazing. While I’ve been attending fundamental Baptist churches since I was four years old, this was the first time I’d ever heard a pastor open Sunday School by saying, “Let’s begin by singing a psalm.” Not reading a psalm. Not singing a chorus. Singing a psalm.
The congregation did sing the psalm—actually, a recent paraphrase of Psalm 1. It was instructive. It was ordinate. It was edifying. And it was just the beginning of another wonderful Sunday with a little congregation near Houston that I’ve visited three times now.
The church has a young pastor who is laboring to bring biblical exposition, careful discipleship, and sober worship into a part of the world where these things are exceedingly rare. He is a man of God whose loves include the Scriptures, careful thinking, wide reading, and the people whom God has placed under his care. While the congregation is small, God is clearly doing a work there.
This young pastor is hardly unique. Over the past several years, God has allowed me to catch a glimpse of at least one part of the future. That future consists in the labors, vision, and priorities of young pastors in small churches scattered across the country.
They are not the product of a single church or school. They have received their formal training in places as scattered as Minneapolis, Detroit, Clearwater, Lansdale, Watertown, Dunbar, Greenville, Ankeny, and Chandler. Often they do not know of one another’s existence. Each, however, is laboring in the flock over which God has made him an overseer. read more