“Why do you want churches to be small?” I hear that question a lot.
My answer? I don’t want churches to be small.
Wanting churches to be small is like wanting Hawaii to be sunny, or vegetables to be nutritious. We don’t need to want it. That’s their normal state of being.
Like it or not, churches tend to be small. Over 90% of the churches on earth are under 200 people. Over 80% are under 100. That’s a whole lot of small.
It’s always been that way. Even today, with the advent of megachurches, those percentages haven’t changed much.
So my desire to help small churches isn't because I want churches to be small. It’s because I want the millions of small churches in the world to be great.
Many of them already are, of course. But no matter how great any church is, it can always be greater. Healthier. Better. Whatever its size.
If we want small churches to be great, we need to acknowledge three basic truths:
Truth #1: Small Churches Can Be Great
A lot of people don’t realize this. Including small church pastors. We’ve become so obsessed with church growth that we’ve inadvertently sent the message to millions of prayerful, Godly, hardworking small church leaders that they can’t be a great church until they’re a big church.
That’s simply untrue.
I know because I’ve been in many great small churches. I even pastor one.
Small churches can be great. If you attend or lead one, don’t believe the lie that it can’t be. It’s counterproductive. That lie may be the main roadblock holding you back from being a great church right now. A church can’t be great if we don’t think it can be.
Instead, believe this truth: You don’t need to become big for your church to become great. It can be great now.
Truth #2: Great Small Churches Look Different Than Great Big Churches
One of the obstacles preventing many small churches from being great is that so much of our pastoral training comes from a big church perspective. That’s not a bad thing. I’ve learned a lot from the conferences and books by the same well-known megachurch pastors you’ve learned from.
But when we pastor a small church, there’s only so much we can learn from those who lead big churches. Even if they used to pastor a small church, which most of them have.