If It’s Okay for a Church to Be Small, Why Do I Feel So Bad When It Is?
For all my hard-working, prayerful, wise, loving peers who woke up on yet another Monday morning wondering “what am I doing wrong?”

I had another one of those Sundays, recently. We started church with more people on the platform than in the congregation. Well, almost.

Sure, it’s summer. People have good reasons to be gone. But it still feels awful.

But why? I’m the small church guy, after all. If anyone should be okay with a low crowd, it should be me, right?

But I’m not.

No, it’s not as bad as it used to be. I no longer live and die by church attendance figures.

Sometimes my sense of value in ministry is still tied to numbers more than it should be.

But sometimes my sense of value in ministry is still tied to numbers more than it should be.

Some Sundays Hurt

I got a Twitter DM on Sunday from another pastor feeling the same thing. And he knows all the right words to say, just like I do.

But he felt so deflated.

“Like a profound failure” were the words he used.

I told him I understood. That I feel the same way, sometimes. And I do.

But writing that back to him felt hollow. Cheap. And not at all helpful – even if it did help him a little. (At least I hope it did.)

So, why am I writing about this today? Is it because I’ve pondered this predicament and found an answer, not just for me, but for you?

I wish.

No. Today I just hurt. For my fellow small church pastors. For the one who reached out to me, and for all the others who suffer in silence.

I hurt for all my hard-working, prayerful, wise, loving peers who woke up on yet another Monday morning wondering “what am I doing wrong?”

Hurting Together

You’re not alone.

God sees, knows and cares about what you feel. What we all feel.

Today’s post isn’t about answers. Or even about helping you feel better.

It’s about solidarity. Hurting with those who hurt – because we all feel the same hurt from time to time.

It’s about thanking God that we still care enough to feel bad. Even when we feel dead inside, the fact that we feel dead means we aren’t.

It’s a reminder that there are so many other faithful servants walking this road with us – even if we never see their faces or know their names.

It’s about all of us strapping on the ol' faith-bag and facing another week.

With courage, with prayer, with passion.

And with hope.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Join in the conversation about this post on Facebook.

Recent Posts

Read More from Karl

Follow Christianity Today

Free Newsletters

More Newsletters ...