9 Reasons to Embrace the Term ‘Small Church’

hand hold 1240 x 697A lot of people don’t like the term ‘small church’. Including many small church pastors.

Before I wrote The Grasshopper Myth and started working with other small church pastors, I debated using a different term for churches like ours.

But I not only stuck with small church, I embraced it. And now I celebrate it. Here’s why.

Read more at Pivot

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4 thoughts on “9 Reasons to Embrace the Term ‘Small Church’”

  1. Karl thank you for this. Just read an article before yours that left me a little discouraged and am glad to read yours last. Still learning to embrace being a small church pastor but grateful that I can do while being faithful to God and know that this doesn’t mean something is “wrong” with me. Thank you again! Blessings to you this Christmas!

  2. I would like to give one reason why I don’t embrace small, medium, or large. All of these designations are a large and deep distraction from what God is after. If we were tied into what God has specifically stated he wants, we would have no need to use or embrace or struggle with a size designation. We would only speak of the struggle in growing to increase our practice of the Word. I could walk through each of the 9 points and show how each of these are a distraction from the key and repeated instructions for the church. I will hold back on that. The majority function of church practice is in a 1500+ year old bubble of traditions that will use all the right words in the Bible but severely marginalize their practice into a small optional corner of church life. The solution to the struggle with small is not embracing it and claiming legitimacy. The solution is to embrace the struggle to practice what the Bible says and “test everything” as to why size is even a talking point. We will feel better about our ministries when we are plumb and square with the Word. I realize most every small, medium, or large pastor thinks they are plumb and square. I realize they might consider it an insult to suggest what they have been handed from previous generations is not plumb and square. I don’t want to assume anyone’s response. Merely talking different about the same routines will not resolve anything. There are many pastors struggling with small who have never heard there is a Biblical alternative to small, medium, large, and mega. Do you think anyone would be interested to consider it? Have I said anything here that rubs you the wrong way?

    1. Tim, I agree that we have a size obsession. No question. But there are three reasons we need to talk about size:

      1. To expose our size obsession, so we can get rid of it.
      2. To encourage those who have been made to feel devalued by our size obsession.
      3. Because there are different skill-sets needed to pastor churches of different sizes. If the pastor of a church of 50 hears a great idea from a pastor of a church of 5,000, they need to know that it may not scale down for them. Or vice versa.

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