It’s the second Saturday of the month and for “a different perspective” that means it’s time for a guest post. Meet Pastor Mark Pate. Mark and his family are church planters in South Alabama. As he shares a little of their story, Mark encourages you to make a difference.
Everyone has a story. I am grateful for the opportunity to share mine. (Pictured from left to right: Hannah, Bethany, Lynn, Mark, and Sophia).
Very early in 2012, my family and I sensed the leading of the Lord to plant a new church in Montgomery, Alabama. We also knew we were being led to become a part of the Congregational Holiness Church, Inc.
Our first vision sharing time around the table was with a few like-minded couples and a pan of lasagna. None of us had ever planted a church before but we had peace that God would make a way.
Early in January we were driving through the Midtown area of Montgomery and noticed a small storefront that was vacant. We were blessed to quickly secure that space and immediately began preparing the building and having outreach events. Our first worship service was held a few months later on Sunday, April 1.
In the beginning, our hearts were strongly drawn toward outreach and missions. So, we decided from day one to support the home missions and world missions’ efforts of our organization. Through monthly offerings, we have maintained that commitment to this very day.
Many times small ministries feel they are not large enough to make a difference. But they can make a difference! I love the question in Zechariah 4:10, which asks “For who has despised the day of small things?” When God calls you to something, He will equip you.
Within a few more months we relocated to a boarded-up church building that had been built by my wife’s grandfather. It was built in the late 1960’s and known for years as the Four Spot Congregational Holiness Church. All along God had a plan that the little red brick church on the north side of Montgomery would one day be revived. With the help of the Lord, we are slowly refurbishing our current facilities.
The journey has not always been easy, but God has blessed our efforts. And the enemy likes to sidetrack us at times concerning numbers.
Let me encourage you for a moment to understand a few things from my experience and perspective. Small churches are the lifeline to souls all around our country. If you and your church can focus on reaching one person at a time, then I believe God will be pleased. Many statistics say that over 45% of churches in America run an attendance under 75.
Be faithful with what you have. You may not be able to offer everything to everyone, but you can do something well. Find that one thing and do it to your best ability.
We have been blessed this year to start a van ministry. And through our door-to-door efforts, we are now picking up families from our community. It is our desire that all people find our church to be a sanctuary. We want our church to be a place of Forgiveness, Freedom, and Restoration in Jesus Christ.
If you are ever in the area and need a place to worship, this is your invitation to Jubilee Christian Fellowship CH Church. Come as our guest, but leave as our friend.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite verses to encourage your soul. Galatians 6:9 tells us to “not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”