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“Small” is a mindset, not a size

David Foster, one of my pastor-heroes, slams one out of the park with another great post on his blog.  He is writing about what is meant by “little church” or “small church,” and points out that it really isn’t about size.  Megas get most of the attention, but 80% of U.S. churches are under 200 in attendance – and the truth is that any size church can be “small.” 

“Small” is an attitude, a way of looking at ourselves and the world around us that doesn’t allow us to see past some very high walls of our own construction.

An excerpt:

Let’s just think about what a little church is.

  • A little church is a church inwardly focused thinking only about the needs of the Christians who are already there.
  • A little church is a church that develops endless programs for the care and feeding of their own people, necessitating more time at the church and less time out in the real world engaging people who are far from God.
  • A little church is a church that does the same thing in the same way today that it did 3, 4, or 5 years ago.
  • A little church is a church that let’s its buildings and grounds fall into disrepair, failing to realize that how we treat the spaces in which we meet has a lot to say about what we believe.
  • A little church is a church that doesn’t want difficult or broken people because they’re too messy – We only want nice, clean, acceptable people who won’t be a bad influence on us.
  • A little church is a church that replaces the gospel with a long list of do’s and don’ts.
  • A little church is a church that hires a pastor to lead them and then fires him when he does.
  • A little church is a church that feels they’re in competition with the other churches across the street or across town and seeks to impugn or diminish the ministry of other churches so they themselves can look better.
  • A little church is a church in which information is constantly disseminated but no lives are changed.
  • A little church is a church that carries on its ministry week in and week out, year in and year out and has absolutely no impact with its surrounding community or its needs.

If you are a pastor or a leader of a church, be careful if you judge it as a little or small church by its budget, or whether or not its pastor gets to speak at a church growth conference. God judges it very differently than we do.

You can read the entire post and see the complete list HERE

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  1. BIG POPPA
    July 31, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    AMEN!! I’ve been to ‘small’ churces before. Like the cheap t-shirts say -“Been there! Done that! And only got a lousy t-shirt to show for it!” That’s exactly why I can’t wait to see where God is taking this train!!!

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