At a nearby seminary, John Stott told the story of visiting a tiny church in rural England while on a study leave.

He worshipped with them every Sunday, participated in their fellowship, and heard their discussions.

He related his dismay when week after week, the pastor would preach about issues facing the village, pray about concerns in the church, and discuss decisions related only to their congregation.

“I came to the conclusion,” Stott observed, “that these people worship a village God.”