No one will ever make a list of the best small churches in the world.
And they shouldn’t.
After all, a great urban small church looks very different from a great rural one. Same with a great Baptist and Methodist church. Or a great small church in Japan or Costa Rica.
Even if there was a way to figure that out and put it on a list, it would be a really bad idea. I can’t imagine all the arguments, ego and pettiness that such a list would provoke.
But what if there was such a list? And what if that list could somehow be an accurate one? In this make-believe scenario, could you imagine your church being on the list of the world’s greatest small churches?
If not, why not?
Your Church Has What It Takes
No, this is not going to be another “you need to try harder” blog posts. We’ve all read enough of those.
Rather, I want to take a moment to encourage you and your church to look around and see what you already have.
Jesus told us he would build his church and that the gates of hell would not overcome it. The New Testament writers assured us that the church would be empowered by the Holy Spirit, who would equip his church with all the gifts needed to do the job he called us to do.
If we do a thorough search of the New Testament, we’d find even more such promises and encouragements for both the universal and local church. But do you know what we won’t find? There’s not a single Bible passage that excludes your small church from the promises, blessings and calling God gave every church.
Go ahead, look for yourself. I’ll wait.
“I’ll use your church, but only after you break through the 200 barrier (or 100, or 50 or…).”
God never said that.
“I wish I could work through your congregation, but you don’t have enough money.”
Not that, either.
“If only you had a bigger building. A newer building. Any building.”
No. Negatory. And not even.
Stop Waiting And Start Doing
What if we decided that God’s promises and challenges applied to our church, too? Not in some idealistic future world where everything started turning our way, but right here and right now?
What if every small church decided not to worry about getting bigger, but decided they were going to be the best possible church for their members, their community and the glory of God at the size and situation they’re in right now?