Last year, after I had served as a co-pastor in a Baptist church for some time, the pastor of that church came and offered me a position, pastoring a small church, in a town 20 km away from our home. The congregation of about 15 people, have their own building. The town where this church is, began as a village about 30 years ago. It began with a rough start. Lots of people at that time were just invading lands from a big farm. Years later the government worked out and made the land division official. The population of the whole county is a little over 3000 people. The town itself might have half of that population. Our little church started about 9 years ago in someone's home. Years later they bought property and started to build. Now we have room for about 80 people, but only 15 are very regular in the meetings. All around are farms and ranches, and this is actually what runs the economy of the region.
I am already working full time, so it is not like I have lots of free time. The pastor said to me, "I want you to look after that town, and become the town's pastor! Not just the church's pastor." Wow that sounded very broad and challenging to me. It took me back in memory, to my years as a missionary in Zimbabwe, when I read a book saying that Hudson Taylor dreamed with a region in mind, not only a town. I started to dream with this church, and ask the Lord, "What is your desire for this congregation? What do you want us to do to become relevant to the whole region?" Most of the churches here, just serve their members spiritually. None of the denominations I know here have any social programs that serve the community. This is sad because the opportunities especially for community development are so many.