Every one of them used to be involved in more corporate churches, but left because they found that they could be more true to their faith and intentional about everything from worship, to discipleship to community outreach in a church that has limited overhead and minimal structures to maintain.
They weren’t against the more traditional churches (they invited me to speak, after all) but this works best for them and their mission.
If your church is small because you’re reducing overhead and simplifying your life and message, you’re not stuck, you’re strategic.
4) Small for Infiltration
Big cars, trucks and SUVs have value – especially for people who are hauling large items. But they have challenges at the mall, because they can’t always find a parking space that fits.
Big churches are the same. There are things they can do that smaller churches can’t do. But they don’t fit everywhere.
In places where
- the church is illegal
- the people are poor
- the land is expensive
- the population is sparse
- the gospel is new
- the nation is war-torn
- the culture is modest
- or for many other reasons
the churches must often be small.
If your church is small to infiltrate a culture where big churches can’t go, you’re not stuck, you’re strategic.
5) Small By Nature & Gifting
As I describe in The Grasshopper Myth, the church I currently pastor grew to almost 400 people for a while. When it did, I was miserable and the church was unhealthy. Not because of the increased numbers – I’d worked and prayed very hard for those numbers to increase.
But I discovered that the gift-mix required to pastor a church of 400 wasn’t my gift-mix. As I shared in my recent post, The Surprising, Guilt-Free Reason 80% of Churches Don't Break the 200 Barrier, I wasn’t unwilling to change, I just wasn’t gifted for the work required at that size. I’m a good small church pastor, not a good big church pastor.
Every Christian, every pastor and every church is good at some things and not good at others. That’s what Paul’s body analogy was all about. Don’t despise your place in the body by coveting someone else’s place – or church size.