Okay, are you ready for some good news? We’ve already looked at some of the obstacles the smaller church must face and we’ve seen a few reasons why those who lead the smaller church can become frustrated with the perceived limitations. But there’s good news too!
There are many areas of great potential for the smaller congregation:
- Deep relationships – Because of the frequent connection people can make with one another in the smaller church, relationships can deepen and become highly valuable. Often a smaller church can easily achieve the level of intimacy that a large church seeks to develop through small group ministries.
- Extensive ministry involvement – Since the smaller church has fewer people to help lead and implement its ministries, there are greater opportunities for personal ministry development. It’s no surprise that a great many ministry leaders, missionaries, and pastors come from smaller congregations. In those settings they had more frequent interaction with ministry leaders and greater apprenticeship-type opportunites than can often be possible for the larger church.
- Intergenerational ministry development – In the smaller church, there are typically more opportunities for the entire congregation to interact together. Church events typically include all ages and older saints are far more likely to be acquainted with younger members than in settings where relationships are limited to ministry sub-groups.
- Community impact – Smaller churches that focus their ministries outside their walls can develop a high level of influence in the community. When outward focus is coupled with leadership consistency (longer-term pastorates), the influence in the community can reach remarkable levels.
Now you may think this list should be longer, and maybe it can be (send me your list). But consider how significant each of these four advantages really are. Relationships, ministry development, cross-generational connections and outward focus are the biggest pieces of church life. Excel in these and you’ll have more than a healthy church. You’ll have a powerful one!
Smaller churches may not get everyone’s attention, but they have the capacity to be amazing!