Celebrating small churches is great.
Doing it by putting down our brothers and sisters who attend, worship, serve and lead in larger churches?
That’s just wrong.
But it keeps happening.
Because I love and promote the value of small churches, well-meaning people keep coming to me with comments like “I appreciate what you do for small churches. They’re so much better than big churches.”
To the first sentence, I say a grateful “thank you.”
To the second sentence I say a firm “no.” Just… no.
Yes, I love small churches. And I appreciate your enthusiasm. But, can we please stop this silly comparison game? No one wins at it.
Can you imagine the outcry if a big church leader came right out and said “big churches are better than small churches!”
Actually, we don’t have to imagine it. Because every time it happens (which is not as often as it may seem) there’s a righteous hue-and-cry from pastors and other church leaders denouncing such divisive talk.
We almost universally recognize that putting a church down for their size should have no place in the body of Christ. And even if you don’t think those feelings are as wide-spread as I believe they are, the reality is that such divisive talk is hurtful to all.
So, if it’s wrong for big churches to do that to small churches, why do some small church advocates think it’s okay to shoot those arrows in the opposite direction?
I understand that some people prefer small over big, just as others prefer big over small. That’s why we need churches of all sizes and styles. But our personal preferences are not universal truths.
The Best Church
We don’t have to put others down in order to celebrate what works best for us.
Big churches are not the best. Small churches are not the best.
Every size and style of church working together, honoring Christ, discipling believers and reaching the world with the gospel? That’s the best.
Let’s celebrate that whenever it happens in churches of every size, and leave the numbers contest behind us for good.
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