My son serves at a church that has 17,000 people every Sunday morning. That’s the same as the population of the county where I live. Their membership is around 45,000. And they are not even the largest in Dallas (3rd I think). My church, and I love it, is not that size … and I’m quite okay with that. We are not as small as the church in the picture, but it’s such an artistic shot I had to use it.
One year ago today, I read an article of realizing and using the strengths of a small church.
- Love being small. There are such strengths. In the words of Elmer Towns …
- You are not alone. Partner with others. Connect with others for mission endeavors and community impact. Cooperating is powerful. And think outside your area. Maybe a city church needs to have a community to help … or a rural church can link with a mission over seas.
- You can get more people (percentage wise) involved. To do projects and endeavors often requires the majority of a small church. What a great way to motivate the entire church family and not just a small portion – as is often the case in mega churches.
- You can know your neighbors. It may be a bit tough in rural areas to walk door to door – but advertising isn’t king in small churches … relationships are.
- Start with service … not the service. Get outside and serve people. Neighbors may not show up to a worship or a concert, but they might show up to help clean a widow’s yard or help the school kids. This is where you start building relationships.
- Make your building a center for the community. Home schoolers need a place to meet? Recovery group need a location? My previous church was a favorite for HOA (home owners associations). That might not be a need in rural, but definitely is in suburbia.
- Be generous … this is not about dollar amount but about heart. All of us have received grace and all should show it.
- Numbers count … for every number represents a person, a person God loves. But size doesn’t restrict any church from being used by God.
Finally, with a bit of sardonic twist … I also know a dangerous truth about smaller churches … everyone knows everything about each other. EVERYONE knows EVERYTHING. That is a bit unnerving. They are not peeking in windows, but very little secrets are out there. And yet, I like that too. We can hold each other accountable, we are part of each other’s lives, and we know strengths, needs, hurts, sorrows, and joys … we share life. And I dare say that is true about all the 45,000 people of #3 church in Dallas.
So, thank you Evergreen, thank you Appomattox, thank you Lord for connecting me here … planting me here … and using me here. I am stoked.
Bloom where you’re planted people!
See the original article here.