The body of Christ can't afford to alienate small churches any longer.
Especially since we make up 90 percent of churches, where half of all Christians attend, worship and minister.
Imagine any other group in which that large a segment of its population regularly felt marginalized, overlooked and patronized. There's no way that group, company or country could be healthy.
But we do it in the church. Usually unintentionally, but we do it.
Church Growth Includes Everyone
For almost five decades now, the church growth movement has been the dominant voice in church leadership circles. And for good reason. As I wrote about in 5 Principles Small Churches Can Learn From Megachurches, they've brought a lot of great blessings to the church as a whole.
But every good thing has unintended consequences. In the church growth movement, one of those consequences has been the lack of encouragement and resources for congregations that stay small, despite following all the church growth steps.
If we want the body of Christ to remain strong, focused on mission and reaching our communities and world with the gospel of Jesus we can't overlook the smaller congregations any more.
When small churches and their leaders feel valued and involved, they do better ministry.
When their voices are included in church leadership conversations, the body of Christ is better informed.
When their concerns are heard and addressed, small congregations get healthier, and the entire church is stronger, more united, and more fully engaged in the mission.
Big And Small Churches Need Each Other
If you are in a position of influence over the church in a region, denomination or through your books, blogs, podcasts and conferences, I have a request.
Please listen to the voices of small congregations. Hear our challenges and frustrations. And pay attention to what we have to offer.
Don’t belittle us for not getting bigger. Equip us with the tools we need to be healthy, innovative and missional while we’re small.
We need you. You need us.
And a world without Jesus needs all of us united, engaged and on mission together.
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