For years, we’ve been told that the reason so many churches stay small is because they’re making small-church choices.
I understand why people say that. Many decisions made in small churches have inhibited their health and growth.
But it’s not entirely true. Not all small-church choices are wrong.
Healthy small churches aren’t small because their pastors are making small-church choices—they make small-church choices because their churches are small.
We don’t opt out of big-church choices because we don’t want our congregations to grow, but because big-church choices don’t always fit in a small-church context.
So, tune out the voices that keep insisting you need to make big-church choices, and keep making healthy small-church choices. But not just any small-church choices. Make good ones.
It’s About Good/Bad, Not Big/Small
There’s a big difference between making good small-church choices and bad small-church choices.
GOOD small-church choices keep a church healthy, strong and vibrant.
BAD small-church choices choke out any possibility for health, growth, and new life.
GOOD small-church choices fit the size of the church, creating health and making room for growth.
BAD small-church choices don’t fit the size of the church, so they stifle health and growth.
GOOD small-church choices acknowledge and leverage the advantages of being small.
BAD small-church choices refuse to see any advantages in being small, so they miss out on them.
GOOD small-church choices honor the past, live in the present, and prepare for the future.
BAD small-church choices dwell on the past, deny the present, and have no future.
Good decisions vs bad decisions is a matter of quality, not quantity. As small-church pastors, we need to make better choices. Not just bigger choices.
In some circumstances, better choices may bring numerical growth. In many circumstances, they won’t. Either way, we should always be giving God, ourselves, and our church everything we’ve got.
(For more about what those choices might look like, come back for my next article, 7 Small-Church Choices That Will Strengthen Your Ministry.)
(Photo by Lenny DiFranza | Flickr)