Skip to main content

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").

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The 'Greatest' Theologian/Preacher/Christian Philosopher

Here's a fun little discussion for us. Who is the greatest theologian since the apostle Paul? Sounds too subjective, but here are some criteria to evaluate by: 1) Personal life - Did this person's personal character reflect his convictions effectively? 2) Breadth of Influence - How wide and long has this person's influence effected the church and the world? 3) Depth of thought - How careful, biblical, and articulate were this persons's works? My vote to come...

Remember Miss Bates from Mere Christianity

C. S. Lewis imagines two people: one Miss Bates, a naturally cranky unkind woman who becomes a Christian and the other Dick Firkin, a naturally friendly kind person who has not yet become a Christian. “Christian Miss Bates may have an unkinder tongue than unbelieving Dick Firkin. That, by itself, does not tell us whether Christianity works. The question is what Jane’s tongue would be like if she were not a Christian and what Dick’s would be like if he became one. Miss Bates and Dick, as a result of natural causes and early upbringing, have certain temperaments: Christianity professes to put both temperaments under new management if they will allow it to do so. What you have a right to ask is whether that management, if allowed to take over, improves the concern. Everyone knows that what is being managed in Dick Firkin’s case is much ‘nicer’ than what is being managed in Miss Bates’. That is not the point. To judge the management of a factory, you must consider not only the

Does Church History Matter?

In a so called unprecedented age, where all of Christianity is re-inventing itself, and all of Christian doctrine is up for re-writing , one must ask the question "Does church history matter?" (Just to write this almost makes me cringe at how unbelievably near-sighted my generation has become!) If we say 'yes it matters' too emphatically, the response will be "Why are you Protestants then?" Didn't Luther radically depart from centuries of theological teaching. One common criticism against Luther (and the Reformation) was "Can you alone be right and the whole world be wrong?" And, when Luther talks about Sola Scriptura, isn't he saying Scripture is all that matters? A few things about Luther. First, his Sola Scriptura argument was not that Scripture is the only authority for the church, but that Scripture alone is the final authority for the church. According to Luther, there can be, indeed should be, lesser authorities, including pasto