Why don’t small churches grow?
When you run a website, as I do with NewSmallChurch.com, you get to see the search terms people use to find it.
That question is one that pops up all the time. So today I’m going to take a stab at answering it. But before I offer my answer, I’m going to challenge the premise of the question:
The presumption that small churches don’t grow is false.
Small churches do grow. Some grow numerically. Most grow spiritually. Many grow in both ways.
It’s just that when they grow numerically, we don’t call them small churches any more. We call them medium, big or megachurches.
Where do we think all the big churches came from? Those frogs started out as tadpoles. Asking why small churches aren’t growing is kind of like asking “why aren’t there any big small churches?”
Small Churches Grow Spiritually – They Grow Disciples and Other Churches
Just because a church doesn’t have more butts in the seats than it had last year, doesn’t mean it isn’t contributing to the growth of the kingdom of God, to the spiritual growth of its members, or reaching its community.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but supporting small churches is one of the best ways to reach the world for Jesus.
As I wrote in, The Best Way to Promote Church Growth? Support Small Churches, small churches lead more people to Jesus, disciple more believers and plant more churches per capita than our big church counterparts.
Big churches do great things, too. But small churches grow disciples and plant other churches really well.
But Why Isn’t MY Small Church Growing?
Despite contributing to the growth of the church at large, the frustration for most small church leaders is that their church isn’t growing numerically. So, for the remainder of this post, I’ll try to tackle another question that is also asked in search queries that find my website. Namely, “why isn’t my small church growing?”
That question is not easy to answer – even if I knew your church. Yet sometimes it seems like everyone knows what’s wrong with our small churches but us. And they’re all lining up to tell us.
Church leadership bloggers (including me) don’t know your church like you do. So the next time anyone writes a list of all the things your church must be doing wrong, take what applies, leave what doesn’t and don’t let false guilt overwhelm you. The same rules apply to my list.