Perhaps every church should make a contract with its laity. The crown jewel of the contract would be the ministry calling of every person in the church. The ability of a church to impact its culture is not limited to its pastor, its facilities or location. In fact, if a church has too many assets other than the ministry calling of the rank-and-file, those assets can actually hinder the church’s ability to make an impact. The more the congregation is “wowed” by superstars the less the average person feels they have to offer. The church may grow large; it may be a neat place to be; it may offer its members a wide array of services, but all of that does not guarantee “culture impact.” This should be a great encouragement to over 90% of churches in America, the vast majority of which will never have pastors with superstar abilities or multi-million dollar budgets. But they do have one thing: people! And even if they don’t have a lot of people, maybe God will use one or more of their people in a way that makes a great “kingdom impact.” That impact may not be obvious for years, but as long as everyone is faithful to the calling God gives them, the rest is up to God. For example, [Read more…]
I’ve heard that sentiment expressed on many occasions from well-meaning people after I tell them I pastor a Small Church.
I get where they’re coming from because I used to be one of them. I said “there are no small churches” for years because I believed the lie that Small Churches were wrong, bad, failing and lazy – all while I was pastoring a Small Church that was none of those things.
I’ve chronicled the reasons for those toxic feelings and my way back to health in articles on this site and in The Grasshopper Myth, but for today’s post I’d like to address the faulty reasoning behind those feelings.
When people say “there are no Small Churches” I know their intention is to be supportive. But having been on that side of the fence I also know the false assumptions that unwittingly lurk behind it. And I know how patronizing it can sound to a Small Church pastor’s ears.
No, this post isn’t going to turn into “Politically Correct – Small Church Edition”. People don’t have to watch what words they use for risk of offending a Small Church pastor. Quite the opposite.
I want people – especially fellow pastors – to relax when they talk with a Small Church pastor. We know who we are. We know our church is small. And there are a whole lot of us who are going through a journey like mine to become, not just OK with it, but to celebrate it.
So I don’t feel insulted when people say “there are no Small Churches”. I receive their expression as the kindness they intended it to be.
But I completely disagree with it. [Read more…]