The day of small things

Harvest Time: God is with Redemption Church in its ministry

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Photo: Getty Images

In the Old Testament, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Haggai for Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and to Joshua the high priest that the time had come to rebuild the temple. Living in their paneled houses, the people of Judah had allowed the Lord’s house to fall into ruin, so the Lord was calling them to, ‘Think carefully about your ways'” (Haggai 1:7).

As they began the labor of building, the Lord’s promise to his people was,”be strong and work, for I am with you!” (Haggai 2:4).

As the temple was forming, the people of Judah recognized that the new temple was “like nothing by comparison” to the former temple (Haggai 2:3). It seemed small and insignificant. So, through the prophet Zechariah, the Lord told Zerubbabel, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6) will the temple be built.

Then the Lord asked the people, “For who despises the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10). Despite its lack of size and grandeur, the rebuilding of the temple was going to be accomplished in the power and strength of the Lord, not through the capability or ingenuity of the people. The Lord’s exhortation was, “Don’t spurn what I am doing.”

In a North American culture that celebrates the big and strong, the powerful and mighty, it’s easy for us to “despise the day of small things” and to focus our celebration on the glory of the mighty and the impressiveness of the weighty. And yet, dotted across the landscape of the United States, we have little gospel outposts ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit, preaching the good news of Jesus and advancing God’s kingdom.

Owatonna, Minnesota, is home to one such gospel outpost, Redemption Church. Planted in 2018 by Christian Kohs, the church plant is a partnership between Multiply and our Mennonite Brethren tribe. Since September 2018, Redemption Church has seen 16 people make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through the waters of baptism.

“Since coming to Redemption,” says Taylor, “my life has changed dramatically with the teaching of Christian and the family at the church. My relationship with the Lord has grown so much. My Home Group has been there with me through some pretty tough times. I’m blessed to be part of this group.”

Don’t despise the day of small things!

“I started attending Redemption as a hard-line atheist,” says Sebastian. “For many years, I held a very low view of the Christian faith, and how nominal Christians conducted their lives, given that nominal Christianity is what I had generally been exposed to. However, the people of Redemption stood out. I had never been exposed to a community that was so fully devoted to Jesus, living their lives to show honor and glory to him. People were open about the harder things in life, people loved one another, women were treated and talked about with honor, and Jesus was always glorified.”

Don’t despise the day of small things!

In Haggai 2:4, the Lord tells Zerubbabel and the people, “Be strong‚ this is the Lord’s declaration. Work! For I am with you!” God is present with Redemption Church. He is present in the life of all churches that proclaim his glory and declare his good news. When God orders a project to be done, he always does his part. It is for the family of God at Redemption Church to be strong and do their part. He is with this small gospel outpost and he will fill it with his glory. For this reason, and this reason alone, do not despise the day of small things. God is working!

Chris Douglas
Chris Douglas is Multiply's U.S. church planting mobilizer. After serving for many years as a pastor in Canada, Douglas became involved in the leadership of the C2C Network. In 2018, he and his wife, Diane, moved back to the United States to serve with Multiply. They currently live in Boise, Idaho.

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