In South Florida

As you read this, I am with 25 other United Methodist pastors from Western North Carolina receiving in depth training from the leaders of Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

It’s part of a year-long leadership development program sponsored by the Royce & Jane Reynolds Foundation in North Carolina.

Christ Fellowship is a pretty remarkable place: a 25-year-old congregation with 20,000 weekly worshippers in five different locations throughout south Florida.

Most unusual about its story? For the first five years of its existence, the church hovered at around 100 people in worship.

In general, when churches stay that size for that long in their early days, they never progress any further. United Methodism has scores of churches that long ago settled at 100 people or so in worship.

But I love the explanation given by Tom Mullins, Christ Fellowship’s founding-and-still pastor.

“God was seeing if I could be trusted with a little,” he said, “before he trusted me with a lot.”

Evidently he could be trusted with both.

Could you? Can I?