No TLCs (Timid Little Churches)

No TLCsNew Small Church is not about timid little churches.

It’s not about pastors and leaders who operate out of guilt or fear. It’s not about congregations that don’t want to move forward.

And it’s definitely not about settling for less.

It is about discovering who we are as churches, leaders and congregations, then using that newfound knowledge to be what God has called us to be in fresh, new ways. Including discovering the wonderful advantages that come with being small.

Small Churches need to think like Small Churches.

But thinking small is not the same as small thinking. And it’s definitely not an excuse for having a small vision.

For the last few decades the western church has been so focused on how to turn a big vision into a big church, have we seriously considered the possibility that we can operate with a big vision in a Small Church? If so, could we recognize one if we saw it?

What does a Small Church with big vision look like?

Discovering and living that is what the New Small Church is all about.

The Grasshopper Myth coverToday’s post is from
The Grasshopper Myth:
Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking that Divides Us



This short post is meant to be a conversation starter.

So what do you think? Can small churches be dynamic and innovative, or are they destined to be timid little churches? Is it possible to think small, without getting stuck in the trap of small thinking?

Do you know what a Small Church with a big vision looks like? Can you tell us about one?

By the way, I have at least one idea of what a Small Church with a big vision looks like. I pastor one. But you’ll hear plenty about that as time goes on. I want to hear from you today.

We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
Enter your comment right below this post and get in on the conversation.

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8 thoughts on “No TLCs (Timid Little Churches)”

  1. Since your aren’t ready to brag about Cornerstone Christian Fellowship yet, I will show you one picture of a small church with big ideas. The people of Cornerstone are always looking for new ways of reaching people. We have 3 big ways that I know of that help the people of Cornerstone reach the people of the community and the world. First of all we reach our community students through a skate park on Mondays and Youth group on Tuesdays. Our youth is taught that they can reach out to others and are taught how. Second we have our internship program where people can come and learn how to be leaders of their church and community. We have had local students, students from Ireland and Canada. Third of all is our outreach ministries. We have short trips down to Mexico and trips and summer trips to varies places in this world including Africa, Ireland and Panama. This all happens through Global Passion. Cornerstone is a small church with a big heart. I miss it.

  2. I am so much appreciating your ministry here. The articles are spot on! Yet I still struggle with some things continually (and I do hope you will be addressing these issues in the future).

    So what happens if you have a big vision, have shared it, launched it, revamped it, or whatever’d it multiple times over the years and nobody catches on to it, OR has the drive to ‘get on board’ with it…you know, those blank stares that just come back at you?
    And what about when you continue to feel as though you, as the shepherd, are still doing it all.
    I have purposely kept our ‘overhead’ small and simple as far as administration in our small church so that there is not a lot of ‘things’ to bog down the people in order to free them up to reach and serve the community. We’ve covered extensively what God has called us all to do. And I have done my best to lead by example….
    But what do you do?

    1. Hi Scott,

      So glad this is helping you.

      Yeah, that issue of getting the congregation on board with the vision is a big one. And I’ll be addressing that subject regularly here. But I think most of your answers are likely to come from having others weigh in on the conversation over the coming months and years as this (hopefully) grows. I can tell you what worked for me, along with the underlying principles, but getting as many ideas and experiences from as many churches as possible is what we need on a subject like this.

      Your question has made me take a look at an idea I wasn’t planning on writing about yet, but I’ll re-visit it and see if I can put something up about it next week.

      For now I can tell you that two major ingredients are necessary for helping a Small Church catch a new vision.

      1. Time and consistency. Those two build trust. Trust is the foundation for all change

      2. Thinking small (without small thinking). The best ways to cast vision in a Small Church are very different from how it’s done in a big church. A lot of the vision-casting strategies we’ve been taught won’t work for us because they were written from a big church standpoint. Because of the way Small Church people interact, they’re less open to being told what to do. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead, we need to allow an atmosphere for ideas, vision and mission to bubble up instead of hoping, praying and working for them to trickle down. It’s less about convincing, and more about listening.

      I want to go on, but can’t right now. More on this later. Hopefully as soon as next week. Stay tuned.

I'd love to hear from you!