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Just as small businesses are the backbone of the nation's economy, so too are small churches indispensable in God's economy.

It's easy for small churches to feel overshadowed by megachurches. The media emphasize large churches, and rarely do news reports, magazine articles, or documentaries acknowledge the essential nature, or even the existence, of small churches.

Why? Because the media like exceptions. They deal with the unusual, with what's creating a splash, not necessarily with what's most important. They cover celebrities, not the everyday workers who produce our essential food and shelter. They cover accidents and crises, not the daily transactions that make our economy possible.

Yet, although they don't make a media splash, small churches, like small businesses, are vital to our national well-being. They make several unique, vital contributions.

I grew up in a small church in Nashville, Tennessee, where my father was pastor-not "servant leader." He was just plain Brother Smith, on call twenty-four hours a day, searching for sinners and serving saints, with most of the members neither noteworthy saints nor ...

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