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Big Church vs. Small Church



Which is better?  Picture this: a small group of believers who gather together faithfully every Sunday and at least once during the week to study, pray, and listen to each other.  They know each other well, they care about each other, they love each other.  Someone gets sick, everyone knows, sends flowers, and drops a phone call.  Someone doesn't show up on a Sunday, someone stops by for a visit to check in.  Someone moves away, their absence is felt deeply.  Someone new joins, their presence is felt immediately.

Now picture this: A large group of believers by the hundreds stream in to gather to worship and praise God.  They are passionate about reaching the community.  With combined resources and numerous outreach programs they are able to influence the community in a powerful way.  Many who would never dare step foot in a small traditional church where they don't fit in, come and feel welcome among a diverse crowd.  There are ministries for every age group from toddlers to teenagers to seniors.  A large staff and facility allow for lots of classes, programs and small groups.

Which is better?  Neither.  What often happens is one model feels superior to the other: "Big churches are compromising the truth," or "Small churches are all dying."  In doing so we can miss the beauty and blessing of each.  Scripture never gives us a numerical command for church size.  That's because God allows for diversity here.  Both play an important role in the Church (capital "C").

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First Baptist Church of Haverhill has received a grant of $49,980.00 to enable its minister, Pastor Rick Harrington, to participate in the 2019 National Clergy Renewal Program. First Baptist Church of Haverhill is one of 150 congregations across the United States selected to participate in this competitive grant program, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and administered by Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Established by the Endowment in 2000, the program’s grants allow Christian congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from their ministerial duties and responsibilities.  Ministers whose congregations are awarded the grants use their time away from the demands of daily ministry to engage in reflection and renewal. The approach respects the “Sabbath time” concept, offering ministers a carefully considered respite that may include travel, study, rest, …

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“How to Find a Church” Endorsements

Listed alphabetically:


“Rick Harrington's book How to Find a Church is an excellent and informative read. The titles of each chapter clearly outline the steps a person would take in understanding the value of church, and in finding the proper one for themselves. Various scenarios are openly discussed in both truth and humor, highlighting the complexity of the human soul's search for belonging.”
Pastor Rick Amendola, New Life Christian Assembly of God.
"In a winsome, concise and uncanny way, Pastor Rick Harrington takes the confusion, anxiety, and weirdness out of finding a church family.I encourage those that have given up looking for a faith community or those actively seeking a faith community to read How to Find a Church to assist them in their journey to the relational joys of life together in Christ's Church."
The Reverend Canon Brian Bethke, the Anglican Diocese in New England.
“Choosing a local church can be one of the most formative decisions a person makes. H…