A lot of people would like to worship in a small church if they could find a good one.
That’s what I keep hearing, anyway.
So, with all the small churches around, why do so many people seem to have a hard time finding a good one? It’s not because they don’t exist. They do.
I think it’s because we don’t know what to look for. A lot of people think that the only difference between a quality small church and a quality big church is the size.
That’s not the case.
A quality small church experience is different than a quality big church experience. But too many people don’t know what those differences are, so they don’t know what to look for in a good small church experience.
Usually, I write to church leaders about how to help small churches become better and healthier. Today I want to address church attenders, members and volunteers – specifically those who are looking for a healthy small church to attend, volunteer and worship in.
There are several characteristics to pay attention to, but they all answer this essential question in some way…
Are They Doing the Small Things Well?
If you’re looking for a good, small church to worship and serve in, you need to look for a church that does small church things well, instead of trying to do big church things on a smaller scale.
With that in mind, here are a few characteristics to look for, based on some of the differences between big churches and small churches.
1. Don’t look for a precisely-groomed facility, look for a well-used one (if they have one)
You know that small church you’ve been driving by, but have ignored because they don’t have a perfectly-manicured lawn or updated sign? The next time you drive past it, ask yourself if the frayed edges of the facility are because they’re being well-used, or because they’re being ignored.
If the facility is well-used, but slightly tattered, those aren’t signs of neglect, they’re signs of life.
It’s the same for a church that doesn’t own a facility. Don’t let the fact that a church is renting on the weekend convince you that it’s not worth your time. Renting is a viable financial option for a lot of very good churches doing great kingdom-minded ministry.
2. Don’t look for highly-trained greeters, look for healthy relationships
On several occasions, I’ve attended churches that had all the signs of being the cool, new thing. They had everything from great signage to parking lot attendants, to a free latte for first-time guests. But once I got inside, there was a stale, dead presence.