Is A Successful Small Church An Oxymoron?

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If we hope to overcome the perception that “successful small church” is an oxymoron, we have to redefine success the way Jesus did. And that starts by answering the question in the title with another question. Namely, “what is a successful church?”

The answer to that question is not found in buildings, budgets or butts in the seats. It’s found in the simple, two-part formula for success laid out by Jesus himself. The Great Commandment and Great Commission.

Are we loving God? Loving each other? Making disciples? Sharing our faith? Any church that’s spending its time doing that instead of obsessing over budgets, building projects, making a name for the pastor, petty infighting and the like, is a successful church. No matter how big or small it is.

Read more at Pivot

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2 thoughts on “Is A Successful Small Church An Oxymoron?”

  1. There is a church in our neighborhood that suddenly wants to become bigger. Way bigger. So big that it is buying up houses to tear down… actually bullying people out of their homes. That church is tearing apart our community. It’s a lovely neighborhood. You can walk to pretty much any place you need to be. I know everyone who lives around here by name. I don’t know anyone who goes to that church… the church that wants to tear down our homes for a parking lot, a gym, and an on-site gift shop. I don’t know much about religion. I didn’t know it required a gift shop or space for 800 parishioners in a neighborhood that will be home to fewer people if that church gets it’s way. It’s not like they need the space for a soup kitchen or to help the homeless. They want to turn our quiet neighborhood where everyone has this great sense of community into a parking lot.

    I will always see Christianity as that church which is destroying my close knit community. I don’t know why the proposed 800 church goers need so much parking in a city that prides itself on mass transit and bicycle paths. They aren’t my neighbors. They clearly aren’t willing to give up their homes for their religion. It’s my home they want to take away. But they don’t care about me. I’m just in the way.

    The small church that was there didn’t seem so dangerous. I didn’t know that it was going to declare war on my community. Now I know better.

  2. There is a church in our neighborhood that suddenly wants to become bigger. Way bigger. So big that it is buying up houses to tear down… actually bullying people out of their homes. That church is tearing apart our community. It’s a lovely neighborhood. You can walk to pretty much any place you need to be. I know everyone who lives around here by name. I don’t know anyone who goes to that church… the church that wants to tear down our homes for a parking lot, a gym, and an on-site gift shop. I don’t know much about religion. I didn’t know it required a gift shop or space for 800 parishioners in a neighborhood that will be home to fewer people if that church gets it’s way. It’s not like they need the space for a soup kitchen or to help the homeless. They want to turn our quiet neighborhood where everyone has this great sense of community into a parking lot.

    I will always see Christianity as that church which is destroying my close knit community. I don’t know why the proposed 800 church goers need so much parking in a city that prides itself on mass transit and bicycle paths. They aren’t my neighbors. They clearly aren’t willing to give up their homes for their religion. It’s my home they want to take away. But they don’t care about me. I’m just in the way.

    The small church that was there didn’t seem so dangerous. I didn’t know that it was going to declare war on my community. Now I know better.

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