Of all the awkward looks and interactions I’ve seen Skip endure, no one has ever walked up to him and said, “there are no small people.” Of course not. It would be the epitome of insult because it would be based on the lie that smaller is inferior.
We wouldn’t do that to a person. We shouldn’t do it to a church.
4. Small Is Not Settling
Just because my church is small does not mean I’ve given up. I’m not settling.
A rose bush isn’t settling when it doesn’t grow bigger than four feet tall. Instead it can now take all the energy it was using for growth, and concentrate on blooming. It stops becoming what it’s meant to be and starts being what it’s meant to be.
Are there some small churches that are settling for “us four, no more, shut the door?” Sure. But there are also some very large churches that are settling for “we’ve arrived, and now we can coast on our success.”
When souls are at stake, settling is sin. And size has nothing to do with it.
5. Small Is Not Anti-Big
Why don’t people ever say “there are no big churches?” Because big churches obviously exist and are doing great things – just like small churches.
Small churches and big churches are not enemies. We’re different. And that difference is good.
To wildly paraphrase Paul’s body analogy, “If the whole body were a megachurch, how would anyone ever get to hang out with their pastor after church? If the whole body were a small church, where would large groups of people meet to worship Jesus together?”
My church needs, uses and appreciates the supportive ministry of big and megachurches. We have learned, and continue to learn, a lot from them.
6. Small Is Essential
There are many places in the world where big and megachurches can’t exist. Where Christianity is illegal and churches have to hide, where the population is small, where land is expensive, and on it goes, as I described in Two Lists: One for a Healthy Church, One for a Big Church – And They Don’t Overlap.
But small churches can, and do, exist everywhere.
Even in places where there are lots of megachurches – like where I live in Orange County, California – small churches like mine far outnumber big and megachurches. Why? Because there are a lot of people who feel closer to Jesus in small settings. It’s what nourishes their spirit. It’s where they prefer to bring their friends to introduce them to Jesus.
I don’t want to live in a world without megachurches or small churches. We need each other.
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