Big Churches

Why Don’t Small Churches Grow? They Do. Then We Call Them Big Churches

“Why don’t small churches grow?” That’s one of the most common search terms that leads people to NewSmallChurch.com.

So today I ‘m going to take a stab at answering it. But before I offer my answer, I’m going to do something that may surprise you. I’m going to challenge the premise of the question.

The presumption that Small Churches don’t grow is false. Small Churches do grow. Some grow numerically. Most grow spiritually. Many grow in both ways.

Why Unfriendly Big Churches Are Bad – But Unfriendly Small Churches Can Be Dangerous

Friendliness, warmth and connection are not automatic in any church. Big churches know this. Small Churches tend to forget it. And when we forget it we can hurt people deeply.

An unfriendly Small Church can be a dangerous thing.

Big churches are aware of crowd dynamics, so most of them work really hard at overcoming the pull towards anonymity. Many of them succeed and are very friendly. It may even be one of the reasons they became big.

Small Churches need to work just as hard at friendliness, warmth and connection as our large church counterparts do. Maybe even harder, because friendliness is more expected and needed when the crowd is smaller.

When Church Growth Perceptions Don’t Match Small Church Reality (Infographic)

Church leaders have a lot of ideas about what the numerical growth of a church – and therefore its size – says about that church’s success and value. Many of those perceptions don’t match reality. This infographic addresses some of those misperceptions.

14 Church Growth and Leadership Lies We Need to Stop Believing

People have frustrating tendency to believe statements that reinforce our previous opinions, even if those statements are obviously false. Christians are not immune to this. Neither are Christian leaders. And we seem to be especially susceptible to this when it comes to church growth. We believe what we want to believe. Facts are secondary.

Forget the 200 Barrier – Small Churches Need to Break Through the Grasshopper Barrier

We need to retire the 200 Barrier from our church leadership lexicon. It makes some dangerous assumptions, starting with the assumption that over 200 is better than under 200. But the Grasshopper Barrier is a toxic mindset that keeps churches and pastors from recognizing The Grasshopper Myth for the lie that it is. That’s the barrier we need to break.

Small Churches Are Not a Problem, a Virtue or an Excuse

I refuse to idealize Small Churches. There’s not an ounce of nostalgia in me for some long-lost, non-existent, good-old-days when everyone attended a little white chapel and all was right with the world. In fact, one of the unwritten rules we follow regarding the photos for NewSmallChurch.com is No Little White Chapels Allowed. (I guess …

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Size ≠ Health: My Friendly Critique of a Rick Warren Interview

I like Rick Warren. A lot. I’ve never met him, but I’ve learned a lot from him. And we both live in Orange County, California, so we have several friends in common. They all speak very highly of his kindness, integrity and generous spirit. “Genuine” is the word they use most often. As much as I …

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Only In a Small Church: Sometimes You Gotta Kill Cockroaches

Small Churches aren’t just smaller versions of big churches. They have unique gifts, challenges and methods of operation. But not everyone realizes that fact. Including some Small Church pastors. This often leads to frustration when we go to ministerial conferences or read pastoral books. Most (usually all) of the speakers and authors are from large …

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