Church & Culture
Celebrating The Essential Role Of The Historically Small Church
Let’s help today’s small churches be as great as yesterday’s small churches.

Why do I love small churches?

Because I love the church.

It’s really hard to love the church and not have a warm spot for smaller congregations. They are, after all, the most common representation of the gathered body of Christ.

Also, I love small churches because I’m a student of history. When you take even a fleeting walk through church history, two things become very clear about church size.

A Lot Of Small

First, most churches throughout history have been small. Really small. But it didn’t stop them from being effective.

From the New Testament house churches, to most of the congregations that campaigned to abolish slavery, to those who still lead people to faith in Christ today, churches of 50, 20, 10 and fewer have always played an essential role in changing the world for Christ and his kingdom.

It’s hard to find anything written about church size prior to the late 20th century. It simply wasn’t an issue.

Second, it’s hard to find anything written about church size prior to the late 20th century. It simply wasn’t an issue.

Aside from the era of building the grand European cathedrals, which arguably had more to do with power and politics than faith, virtually no one in church history equated bigger with better until the last 50 years or so.

Great Small Churches

For most of the last 2,000 years, almost all of the world’s most influential churches have been small by today’s church growth standards.

So, if you love the church, you have to love small churches. If you pastor a small church, you don’t have to worry about your church’s size hindering you from being a valued part of the kingdom of God.

And if you’re teaching church growth, don’t push for bigger. Celebrate health. Help today’s small churches be as great as yesterday’s small churches were.

Healthy knows no size. And history is still being written.

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August 19, 2019 at 1:00 AM

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