“The size of a church does not determine its health, but…”
Small churches don’t get a lot of airtime, even though they are the rule & not the exception across the globe (90% of churches have less than 100 adults in attendance on any given weekend), so I enjoyed Outreach Magazine‘s annual trek into Small Church America in their July/August 2014 issue. Check out a few of my big takeaways that may surprise or encourage you. And make you think.
- “The size of a church does not determine its health, but a church’s health can determine its size.” – Ed Stetzer, Lifeway Research, EdStetzer.com.
- “A small church measures success by how faithful they have been with what God has given them.” Dave Jacobs, SmallChurchPastor.com.
- “The average church attracts fewer than 90 adults on a typical weekend. 60% of protestant churches have 100 or adults on a typical weekend. Just 2% of churches attract more than 1,000 adults on a typical weekend.” – Barna
- “We need to be content with who we are, but never content with staying where we are.” Karl Vaters in the Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking that Divides Us (New Small Church, 2012).
- “Bloom where you’re planted. Instead of trying to be what you are not, know what you do well and do it well.” – Jim Thomas, SmallChurch.com.
- “What drives us? Spotlight and recognition? Influence over 1,000’s? Power that comes with a title? Or would we be content with a downward movement of faithful servanthood, even if it meant obscurity?” – JR Briggs in Fail: Finding Hope & Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure, IVP, 2014.
- “Churches of 200 or less are four times more likely to plant a daughter church than churches of 1,000 or more. The smaller the size of the church the more fertile they are in planting churches.” – Lifeway
- “The number of evangelicals has not boomed. We have just become more centralized in fewer, larger churches that produce better Sunday performances.” – John S. Dickerson in The Great Evangelical Recession, Baker Books, 2013.
- “Since the Day of Pentecost, innovative small churches have been the way the majority of Christians have done church.” – Karl Vater, NewSmallChurch.com.
- “local engagement – the engagement with our local neighborhoods, villages, towns is harder and harder the bigger and bigger you get.” – David Fitch
- “The growth rate of churches decreased with increasing size…” – Christian Schwartz in Natural Church Development.
Biggest takeaway – “No matter the size, age or denomination of our churches, there’s one question we should all be asking… Where do we grow from here?” Bobby Gruenwald.
I personally believe that small church or big church should not be our motive or goal or badge of honor. God’s glory & the soul’s of men should be the goal. Be encouraged where you are & work hard for God’s glory & the souls of men.