Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What is the Value of a Small Church?

I've spent the last decade of ministry is some of the largest churches in the world, and I'll be honest, when you're consumed with mega-church life in a mega-church world, it's easy to overlook the small churches that are seemingly on every street corner on your commute each day.

When you're living in a church-world that is made up of big buildings, big numbers, big events and big results, it's easy to become inward focused.  But the reality is that when we become inward focused, we forfeit our ability to lock arms with the churches that we're surrounded with.

The truth is, we aren't a bunch of different churches.  We are ONE Church.  And if we are going to operate as ONE Church, we've got to lift each other up; pray for one another and encourage like-minded congregations as they are working hard to make much of Jesus.

I was reading Lifeway's 2013 report the other day:  "Largest Churches in the Southern Baptist Convention" and was reminded of a few things.  First of all, our Convention has over 46,000 churches.  That's an incredible number!  But the statistic that shocked me even more than that was that only 595 of those churches average over 1,000 in worship each week.  That means that 98.7% of Southern Baptist Churches have less than 1,000 people walking through their doors each week.

Here's what this data tells me...





Small Churches in America are VALUABLE!

I believe if America is going to see nationwide revival in our lifetime, we've got to begin praying for our smaller churches, because they make up the majority.  We've got to lift them up!  Churches are going to have to collaborate.  We're going to have to cooperate.  We're going to work together and work hard because the job set before us isn't going to be easy.

You know what is easy?  Being inward focused.  It's easy to put our church in the center of the universe and just forget about all the other churches all around us going to battle each week alongside us in our communities.  That's the easy thing, but God hasn't called us to do the easy thing.  He's called His Bride... His Church... to work together for His Mission and when we do that, we please Him.

You may be wondering, "How can I pray for the Small Church in America?  How do I lift up the 98.7%?"

  • Pray for the Pastor 
    • Many are bi-vocational and are working hard to make ends meet
    • Many are working on their education while Pastoring
    • Many are in smaller communities 
    • Many are limited in their resources and lay help
    • Many are struggling with lay leadership and need to be encouraged
  • Pray for their Influence
  • Pray for their People
  • Pray for their Communities
  • Pray for Revival
Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I also."  It doesn't matter the size of the church.  The only thing that matters is the size of our God!  And He's big enough to change our churches, our cities, our country and our world.  Let's pray for it to happen!

1 comment:

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