Lee Pigg is often asked how it happened, or what he did to
make it happen, and he never really knows exactly how to answer.
In the past six years Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe,
where Pigg is pastor, has gone from 165 in Sunday morning worship attendance to
nearly 1,000. He went from being the only staff member to now leading a staff
of 11. “I remember telling my wife, ‘I think we’ll have 400 people at Hopewell
one day.’ Never did I think we’d be where we are today,” Pigg said.
The population in Monroe hasn’t really increased in recent
years. Situated about 20 minutes from Charlotte and Concord, Pigg said Hopewell
is in the middle of nowhere, between cotton fields and cornfields. When Pigg
came to Hopewell in 2002 his goal was two-fold: preach God’s Word and love the
“I believe that is what started to become contagious,” he
said. “They started to take that as their mission.”
As people get excited about the ministry of their local
church they start inviting others and bringing others with them, and that has
made all the difference.
“They have seen others get excited, and that’s exciting. The
leadership is excited and that has just spilled over. We see people wanting to
be part of something bigger than themselves,” Pigg said.
This mentality of wanting to do something “big” has perhaps
never been so apparent as in recent months, when a three-month focus on
worship, discipleship and ministry resulted in 65 baptisms, 6,000 hours of
ministry service and a $40,000 missions offering. About one third of the 65
baptisms represent new believers in Jesus Christ.
Earlier this year, when trying to decide how the church
would participate in the Find it Here Easter evangelism emphasis, Pigg decided
to do more than just the Easter focus. In March he began leading the
congregation through a focus on worship. In April the focus was discipleship
and in May the focus was missions.
Each of the three focuses come from Hopewell’s mission
statement, based on Ecclesiastes 4:12. When it came time for the May missions
focus Pigg challenged every family in the church and every discipleship group
to be involved in a missions outreach that month. The goal was 5,000 hours of
outreach from the church in one month.
They got more than 6,000. One group hosted a neighborhood
carnival. The group was able to share the gospel that day and five people
prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
On the last Sunday in May, Hopewell received a special
offering just for missions.
The $40,000 was distributed among international and local
ministries, including N.C. Baptist Men disaster relief. Also benefiting was
N.C. Baptist Hospital, Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute and Caraway Conference
Center and Camp.
Pigg said the focus this year has helped the congregation be
more intentional in thinking about how to reach out to the community. One
church member asked to pray for the waitress at a local restaurant, then
invited her to church. Before long, she had prayed to receive Jesus Christ and
Hopewell is Pigg’s first pastorate. He worked 10 years in
the business world and was successful, but God was calling him to something
A popular quote goes something like this: “Attempt something
so big for God that if He doesn’t show up, you’ll look like a fool.” It’s one
that Pigg takes seriously.
“We need to do something bigger than us so that there’s no way we can
take credit for it. Don’t be afraid to challenge your people,” he said. “I
honestly believe they are waiting on us to challenge them. I believe that’s the
kind of challenge God honors.”