Small Church—You Have All You Need

Matt McMorris

The sheer volume and power of 240 voices and 40 instruments thrilled my soul as I led them in worship to an auditorium of several thousand people. I couldn’t imagine anything more exhilarating. Now, fast forward several years and I am no longer a music pastor at a mega church, but rather a church planting pastor leading a church of 30 — when everyone shows up!
(And just for the record, the church plant is WAY more thrilling)

Sometimes I feel like I hear so much about the “worship experience” that I can actually be discouraged. I have no band or worship team. My wife controls the slides. We are thrilled to have twelve:thirty media so we have something nice to put on the screens. We don’t have programs or ministries. If it needs to get done, my family and I are usually the ones to do it. I work a full time job, so I don’t have the greatest social platforms or an outrageous amount of content.

I’m not even sort of complaining. We love it and genuinely believe God will grow His church here and we will see many of these dreams fulfilled in the future.

But for now, here is what I have learned.

The people that are attending our new church are not there for any of that. I find myself thinking that if we don’t have lights, fancy camera equipment, a killer band and former American Idol contestants than people will just walk out on us. Nope. No one has ever come to my church and said, “Hi, we are guests today because we really hope you have a great music program!

The reason I think those things matter is because the devil is attempting to distract me from what really matters. If a chef burns the meal while prepping the garnish, they have completely missed the point of the meal. All of those “extras” make church special. We do the very best we can with the resources God has given us, but I try to give everything else to the Lord and be patient. It will all come in His time.

God blesses our services when I dive into His Word to prayerfully and passionately deliver Biblical messages to His people. Music and programs are great, but it is “through the folly of what we preach” that God calls people to repentance and life change.

Bottom line is this: if you are a small church, a church plant, or a struggling ministry—take heart. Get out your Bible and dive into it. Let it wreck you on a personal level. Then, it will take hold of your heart and you will have no choice but to speak the truth in love to the people God has called you to shepherd.

Brothers, you already have all you need. Grow from there.


About Matt McMorris

Lead Pastor at Grace Valley Church

Matt McMorris grew up in a pastor’s home. In fact, he grew up in a small town as well, not all that different from Lodi. Matt grew up with a love for rural communities, the outdoors, family, and Jesus.

Matt trained in music while in college. He assumed that his calling in life would always be to serve the church through worship in song. However, in 2016, God began to work on Matt’s heart about pastoring a church. In January of 2018, The McMorris family began meeting with a small group of people to formulate a launch team. On September 30th, that team will officially launch and Grace Valley Church will be born.