This Week

  • Today: 10:00 Worship; Making Peace Seminar: Canceled.
  • Monday @ 5:30 p.m.: Girl Scouts
  • Tuesday Bible Study: @ Jeremiah’s, 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 11 a.m. Spiritual Council; 7 p.m. Strategic Planning
  • AA Meetings: in the Parish Hall:
    • Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Discussion
    • Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Big Book
    • Fridays 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Discussion

Making Peace Seminar Today!

Next week: session 10 of a 12-week video series by Jim Van Yperen based on his book, Making Peace: A Guide to Overcoming Church Conflict. Meetings, Sunday mornings, 11:00 a.m.

Benefits of a Small Church

Big churches are great. But they’re actually very rare. And they’re not the only way to see the kingdom of God move forward.

After all, if 5,000 people come to Christ, rather than one church, it would be better to have 50 small healthy churches of 100, or even 100 healthy churches of 50.

I know there are church planting organizations that do this. But if your group, denomination, or missions organization hasn’t caught this as part of their vision, I encourage you to think about it seriously. If we made this shift in strategy, here are a few positive changes we might see.

1. We’d have far more successful pastors and churches.

Planting one church, hoping for it to grow numerically every year until it reaches mega status, is a fool’s gambit. Not one in 1000 reaches mega size. In fact, not one in 10 is likely to ever remain consistently above 100.

But if a bunch of healthy small churches are the goal, rather than one mega-size church, the chances of success rise dramatically.

2. More pastors would get to use their gifts.

The bigger the church gets, the harder it is to find leaders with the gifts, training, temperament, calling and skillset to lead them. But there are a lot more people who are capable of leading smaller churches. Not because the skills and gifts are lesser, but because they’re more common. Most pastors don’t go into ministry because they feel called to manage resources, raise funds, build facilities, or utilize most of the skills needed for big churches. Most pastors are called to preach the Word and care for people. Those are the gifts that are needed in smaller churches.

3. Church leaders would be under less pressure.

It’s hard to pastor a healthy church. It’s even harder to start one and nurture it to long-term health. And it’s brutal to try to do that while under the relentless pressure to get bigger every year. And it’s unfair to expect it. But being one pastor of 50 or 100, pastoring churches averaging 50 or 100? That’s setting pastors up for success.

4. Fewer pastors would quit in frustration and discouragement.

Too many pastors leave the ministry without finishing the race. How much of that is due to unrealistic expectations of numerical growth, combined with under-resourcing them to be healthy while they’re small? Celebrating and resourcing healthy churches of all sizes might keep a lot more good people in pastoral ministry.

5. Pastoral time and energy could be utilized better.

Church growth strategies are created by large, successful churches. But those strategies don’t work for most small churches. If 50 pastors are expected to pastor churches averaging 100, the pressure to try things that aren’t going to work diminishes, and the time and energy they were spending on growth strategies can be poured into pastoral care. Personal relationships take time and energy.

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