The Small Church's Biggest Need, Biggest Blessing, and Biggest Opportunity
There is a role for churches of all sizes. Big churches meet some needs, small churches meet other needs.

More than anything else, small churches and their pastors need to be encouraged.

They (we) need to know that what they do has value.

  • That they’re making a difference
  • That they’re not being looked down on
  • That they’re being prayed for
  • That someone is there to help
  • That they have as much to offer as they have to learn
More than anything else, small churches and their pastors need to be encouraged.

As small church pastors, we need all the help we can get. Including from each other.

As much as you may need to be encouraged today, there’s another small church pastor who needs encouragement from you, too. Let’s set our territorialism aside and be there for each other.

Biggest Blessing: Relationships

Small churches are not necessarily friendlier than big churches. That’s often how big churches became big, after all.

But small churches do offer unique opportunities for relationships that can only happen when the crowd is smaller.

For instance, people in a small church can be known by name. Not just by a small circle of friends, but by (almost) everyone, including the pastor. The entire church notices when someone is missing, and their absence means something to the rest of the people in the church.

In many small churches, kids will have the same person teaching them every year, developing a long-term mentoring relationship with them that will affect the rest of their life.

This kind of closeness and mentoring doesn’t happen by mistake. It has to be encouraged, fostered and nurtured. But when the relationships in a small church are strong and healthy, there’s nothing on earth like it.

More than emphasizing new programs and methods, small church leaders need to learn how to develop and strengthen relationships. In fact, relationships are everything the church is supposed to be about, anyway. Our entire mission is about helping people develop a relationship with Jesus and healthy relationships with other people.

There may be a lot of things big churches can do that small churches struggle with. But every church of every size can have great relationships – as long as we make them our priority.

Biggest Opportunity: Discipleship

The greatest churches are built, not on big programs, beautiful buildings or even great preaching.

The backbone of a strong, healthy, effective church is always discipleship. Equipping the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12 [ESV]).

Making and training disciples is what the elements of a great church (worship, fellowship, teaching, ministry and evangelism) are designed to promote.

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The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

May 13, 2019 at 2:00 AM

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