Grace Institute News & Good Ideas
April 5, 2011
Sometimes I think it is easy to get an inferiority complex. If you look at the most popular Christian books and see where most of the church conferences are held, it seems to be a world of mega-churches. Nothing against mega-churches, because they clearly have their place in the Christian movement. But the truth of the matter is that around 94% of the churches in our country are small to mid-size churches. That means that the majority of outposts for God are small churches. That means that small or mid-sized churches are the most accessible to the most people. That means that small and mid-sized churches are vital to the communities in which they serve and vital to the spreading of the Good News.
There are things that small and mid-sized churches can offer in the way of community development and support for people as they grow in their faith that are more difficult to find in larger churches. Worship can engage people in a different way and care for each other can sometimes be more easily mobilized.
There are principles and some practices that can be gleaned from studying people that "do church" on a large scale, but we should not aim to try to duplicate what those churches are doing. Our role is to unapologetically be the church God is calling us to be, with excellence, purpose and dependence on the God we serve. We shouldn't apologize for who we are and what we can provide through God's guidance and strength. Nor should we offer any less excellence than we can provide or work any less diligently. Instead of lamenting the things we don't have that others do, it may be time to take inventory of what we DO have. In all the churches we have worked with, we haven't found one church that God had not provided sufficient gifts for rounded and impactful ministry.
We are on the front lines. It isn't a time to be timid or apologetic.