Small Church Ministry
Why Don’t Small Churches Grow? (Actually, They Do)
The presumption that small churches don’t grow is false. Some grow numerically. Most grow spiritually. Many grow in both ways.

With that preface, I’m now going to wade into this potential quagmire of misunderstandings and hurt feelings and give you three reasons some churches stay small.

1. Some Churches Stay Small Because Some of Them Aren’t Healthy

Many people seem to think that if a church isn’t growing numerically that’s all the evidence they need to call the church unhealthy. That’s just not true. I’ve addressed that issue in The Grasshopper Myth and many blog posts, so if you’re new here, check these out for starters:

It’s false to say that every church that isn’t growing numerically is failing. But it’s also false to claim that ill health is never a reason why some churches don’t grow.

Of course there are a lot of unhealthy small churches in the world. Take a look around. Unhealthy small churches outnumber unhealthy big churches. But that’s to be expected, since small churches outnumber big churches by huge margins – healthy and not.

If your church is small, don’t assume it’s not healthy.

If your church is small, don’t assume it’s not healthy. I don’t. But take an honest look at it. If it is unhealthy, fix that first.

The last thing the world needs is unhealthy small churches becoming unhealthy big churches. Getting bigger fixes nothing.

2. Some Churches Stay Small Because We Need Churches of All Sizes

Some people love worshiping Jesus in a big church. Some prefer worshiping in a small one. If current and historical statistics are any indication, those numbers are about half and half – with the lean being towards small churches.

At least half the Christians in the world choose to worship, serve and minister in a small church setting. So we need a lot more healthy, God-honoring, community-reaching small churches, not fewer.

And not just in small towns. A typical city may have one megachurch serving 10,000 people, but that same city will have at least 100 small churches serving the same number of people. Actually, it’s more likely to have about 1,000 small, medium and house churches serving about 100,000 people. Those are the usual percentages. That’s not bad. That’s normal.

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September 21, 2016 at 10:17 AM

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