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Theology in the Trenches

By Kathleen Kjolhaug 

Little Country Church Time...In the Quiet of the Night Time...

I go to a little country church located at the edge of town. How it landed there, poetically placed near an open field, I haven’t a clue. I only know that we attend. The structure is solid, the teaching is solid, and the people within...well...they are sinners saved by grace...every last one of em. 

There’s no pretending cause we’re much too small a group to not notice the imperfections of one another. At the same time, we’re much too small a group to not notice the forgiveness of those imperfections as well. As we literally bump into one another coming and going, we choose to love just as we are...cause we come just as we are.

There are no choirs of angels gathered round to make music, but we have a piano player with fingers that can find their way around those keys like none I’ve ever seen. The volunteer organists are willing to make their way around the ivory tower which stands directly across from the piano to make a sound that could mimic those choirs.

Our pastor stands on the solid rock while leading forth his imperfect sheep that need sheering more oft than not. He’s patient with us. We are patient with him. It works both ways as small congregational pastors wear way too many hats. Perfection can’t be paraded through as one would go bonkers cause there’s not enough time to perfect much...except His word expounded weekly. That seems to roll out onto the red carpet as His Spirit moves freely...getting us back on track.

I suppose I share this...not to brag...not to gather sheep from other pastures...but rather to let you know that you are not alone. You are not alone cause I see far and wide the countryside dotted with little white churches. Oh, some of them have made their move to larger lots as to pool their people who are no longer countryside. They have to. People move and needs change.

Somehow though, those little country churches were the anchoring pins of our nation. The goal long ago was simple, to honor the Lord with all their hearts, minds and souls. The goal was and still is to love our neighbor as ourselves. It’s hard to do this unless there is a shepherd to herd us back into the fold, and the shepherd can’t do that without a little church in which to gather...His church...His people.

No...we don’t have fancy choirs, or room for a more modern music set up, or enough people to fill all of the roles needed, or even enough ministry teams to measure up to what could spiritually help fill cups to overflowing.

But, what we do have, are praying people. Yup, praying people is what we have within the likes of our little white country church, and I bet you have them in yours.

Let me tell you a story. To a city far away...I traveled. Late one evening it was, and a friend from our little country church was in the big city too. We met up. We shared our hearts.

When dropping her off, out the door she did hop. Suddenly, she turned only to hop back in. Into my vehicle she came once again, took my hand and said, “Let’s pray.”

In the driveway we sat. In the dark of night, in a big city far away from our little country church, we prayed. And, big church. With the angels and saints we the dark of night, living the Gospel that had been planted within from a little country church at the edge of town.

And, my guess is, you, too, gather as one just like we the Gospel rooted from a little country church somewhere in your past...which dots this nation.

To God be the glory great things He has done and continues to do...both now and forever...Amen.