Where are all the great small churches?
Would you know one if you saw one?
They exist. There’s no doubt about that. There are great small churches in every country, serving every ethnic group and in virtually every language. They worship in every imaginable liturgical style and they meet in every type of building – including no building at all.
But still, many people don’t realize that a church can be both small and great. That has to change. But there’s only one way to change it. We need a lot more great small churches.
We Can Do This
Good isn’t good enough any more. And it will be less acceptable with every passing year.
No more excuses. It’s time for small churches to be great churches.
If that sounds intimidating, it doesn’t need to. Every church has everything it requires in order to achieve greatness right now. You don’t need to wait for permission, or even inspiration. We already have the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
Here are five principles any small church can use to achieve greatness. Even if they never achieve bigness.
1. Know that Small Churches Can Be Great
Perhaps the biggest impediment to an explosion of great small churches around the world is small churches and pastors who don’t know they can be both small and great.
Greatness is not about achieving epic numerical growth. As I describe in The Grasshopper Myth, it’s not about numerical growth at all. Some of the most rewarding and kingdom-growing worship and ministry experiences I’ve ever had have been in very small groups, including very small churches.
That can be your church. You don’t need one more person, one more dollar or one more square foot of building to start being a great church.
Your small church can be great. You need to know it, believe it and act like it’s true. Because it is.
2. Don’t Try to Act Like a Big Church
People don’t come to a small church expecting a scaled-down version of a megachurch experience. They expect a great small church experience.
Yes, there are principles that all great churches hold in common. But a great small church is not a miniaturized version of a great megachurch.
A great small church won’t have parking lot attendants and professional signage leading families to hi-tech, age-segmented children’s ministries.
Mom and Dad aren’t going to be handed a cup of finely roasted cappuccino from a smiling barista in the church lobby, before being led into a thoroughly post-modern worship space with form-fitting seats.