I like big- and megachurches. I wish there were more of them.
I like small churches even more. I wish there were a lot more of them.
As I continue to write and speak about the value of small churches, I’m noticing a disturbing mini-trend that I want to opt out of. It’s the tendency in some people, when they hear that I’m for small churches, to start talking trash about megachurches.
“I’m glad you’re going after those megachurches. They’re so shallow,” one person wrote. “Big churches don’t care for their members as much as small churches do,” another said. “A large crowd is the sign of a shallow church,” was another comment I heard recently.
And, of course, there’s the meme that keeps making the rounds showing a huge megachurch, with the words “When you tell them what they want to hear...” contrasted with a photo of a small, empty church, and the words “When you preach the truth.”
Not only do these comments betray a complete misunderstanding of my beliefs and intentions, they fail to recognize the power of the Gospel to draw people to Jesus, in both large and small crowds.
No More Megachurch Bashing
Today I have a short, friendly word of caution for my small church friends.
Let’s not fall into the trap of bashing someone else to try and feel better about ourselves. It’s not right. It’s not Christian. And it doesn’t work.
Bashing other churches will not do what you hope it will do.
It won’t help you
- Feel better about yourself
- Get more people in your church
- Find common ground
- Correct theological error
- Or advance the kingdom of God
It just makes the complainer look petty.
Cooperation Is Better than Competition
You don’t like big churches?
Fine. Don’t attend or pastor one.
But there’s no good reason to knock those who minister, worship or serve the Lord in a larger group instead of a smaller one.
It’s just as wrong to bash big churches for their size as it is to look down on small churches for their size.
We should be cooperating, not competing. There’s room – and a need – for everyone.
Church Size Is not a Problem
You may have had a bad experience in a megachurch. And I’m truly sorry any time someone gets hurt in a church. But I can line up people from here to Corinth that have had bad experiences in small churches, too.
Each person’s church experience should stand on its own, without bashing an entire group.
So, from now on, when you read or hear something from me about the value of small churches, don’t read a megachurch bash into the subtext. Because it doesn’t exist.
Bashing a church for its size, big or small, says more about the pettiness of the basher than it says about the church they’re bashing.
The next time anyone wants to bash any church for how many or few attend it, you can count me out. I hope I can count you out, too.
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