Yes, people have said that – and things like it – to me.
I get that Small Churches aren’t for everyone. But saying “I prefer big churches” is the way most people state it. That’s fine. I prefer small ones. But I have no problem with big ones.
To flat-out state that you don’t like Small Churches isn’t just a statement of preference. It’s rude. Especially when you’re saying it to a Small Church pastor.
It also betrays a massive misunderstanding of the realities and challenges of pastoring – not to mention the value of Small Churches. So when I hear statements like that, my knee-jerk feeling is to want to strike back.
But I’ve learned that the root cause behind such arrogance and prejudice is usually a combination of pain and ignorance – so I sympathize a bit. And I’ve come to a very different conclusion about about the dangers of valuing churches according to their size.
Smallness Isn’t the Problem
Like most prejudices, people’s problems with Small Churches aren’t about what they think it’s about. So I’ve come up with a reasonable response for such unreasonable statements.
I’ll start with the question, “What don’t you like about Small Churches?”
Based on complaints I’ve heard before, I’m guessing that their response will be along these lines:
Small Churches are
- Threatened by change
- Filled with petty infighting and jealousies
- Settling for less
- Not reaching their communities
- Poorly managed
To which my response will be: “I don’t like those Small Churches either.”
It’s About Sickness, Not Size
Seriously, who would like a church with any of those characteristics? If you do, both you and the church have bigger problems than being small.
The problems most people have with Small Churches aren’t about size, they’re about sickness. And sickness can happen in churches of any size.
But what if you found a Small Church that was
The good news is, there’s no “what if?” about it. You can find Small Churches like that. They’re everywhere!
I know, because I’ve been in a lot of them. Many of you pastor or attend one. So do I.
The Right Way To Judge
Let’s stop making assumptions about all Small Churches based on bad experiences with some Small Churches. Each one deserves to stand or fall on its own.
As Jesus put it, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”
There are healthy and unhealthy churches of every size. That should be our only basis for judgment – and our only measure of success.
So what do you think? Have you ever pre-judged a church because of its size? Or has your church ever been pre-judged that way?
We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
Enter your comment right below this post and get in on the conversation.