There’s nothing wrong with small churches.
I’ve been hearing that a lot lately.
For the first time in my memory, many church growth writers and speakers are making sure to say "there’s nothing wrong with small churches" when they teach about church growth.
This is good, and I’m grateful for that concession.
Unfortunately, that’s what it is. A concession.
That’s not enough any more.
An Unacknowledged Prejudice
There’s nothing wrong with saying “there’s nothing wrong with small church.”
It’s a start. But we need to do more than that.
When we say that, we’re betraying an inherent prejudice against small churches that we’re hoping to sweep away before we get to the real business at hand – getting those numbers up.
After all, we say “there’s nothing wrong...” with things we tolerate, not with things we celebrate. No one says “you need to see the latest movie! There’s nothing wrong with it!”
Celebrate, Don’t Just Tolerate
Imagine if the best thing I could write about big churches was “there’s nothing wrong with big churches.” Of course there isn’t! In fact, there’s a lot that’s great about them.
Big churches bring a lot of good to the body of Christ. I don’t just think they’re “not wrong”, I know they’re wonderful, helpful and worth celebrating.
Small churches deserve to be treated the same way. As valuable, contributing members of the body of Christ. Just like our big church counterparts.
Not just tolerated, but celebrated. Not seen as a burden to be carried, but as contributors to be seen, acknowledged and listened to.
Small churches deserve to be honored as full and equal members of the body of Christ. Not as lesser members that there’s “nothing wrong” with.
The Essential Small Church
Most churches throughout history have been small. Most churches today are small.
Some of the greatest revivals and renewals of God’s spirit have been sparked by small church movements.
Small churches aren't just “not wrong”, they have always been and will always be an essential ingredient in God’s plan.
They deserve to be treated that way.
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