Small churches often face unjust criticism and negative assumptions about their size. However, the problems people have with small churches are not related to their size but rather to the presence of sickness within them. It is crucial to debunk the notion that small churches are inherently problematic and instead focus on evaluating them based on their merits and overall health. This article aims to challenge biases and promote a more inclusive perspective by highlighting the diversity and potential within small churches.
Sickness Knows No Size
Sickness can occur in churches of any size, dispelling the misconception that small churches are more prone to problems. It is unfair to generalize all small churches based on negative experiences with a few. Just as there are healthy and unhealthy churches of every size, it is essential to judge each small church independently, according to its own merits.
Expressing a dislike for small churches can be disrespectful and rude, especially when directed towards a small church pastor. Instead, it is more appropriate to express personal preferences in a manner that does not offend others. Statements like “I prefer big churches” allow for a respectful conversation without undermining the value of small churches.
Unraveling the Roots
Disliking small churches often stems from a combination of pain and ignorance, leading to arrogance and prejudice. It is important to recognize that people’s negative opinions about small churches often originate from misconceptions and biases. By posing the question, “What don’t you like about small churches?” we encourage a deeper exploration of these biases.
Common negative perceptions about small churches include being inward-focused, resistant to change, filled with internal conflicts, and settling for less. However, the author acknowledges that such characteristics indicate bigger problems than just the church’s size. It is crucial to understand that these issues are more about the presence of sickness within the church rather than its size.
Contrary to negative assumptions, there are small churches that are innovative, friendly, outward-looking, missional, generous, and worshipful. Positive qualities can be found within small churches everywhere. The author, who pastors a small church, has personal experience in such communities and recognizes their value.
While many small churches may not currently exhibit these positive traits, it is important to note that they are actively working towards achieving them. Small churches have the potential to be vibrant, impactful, and spiritually nourishing communities.
Size as a Flawed Measure
Valuing churches solely based on their size is a flawed approach that overlooks the realities and challenges of pastoring. A church’s success and worth should be measured by its overall health and well-being, including its impact on the community and the spiritual growth of its members.
It is crucial to avoid generalizing all small churches based on negative experiences with a few. By recognizing the diversity and potential within small churches, we can appreciate their unique contributions and promote a more inclusive perspective. Let us debunk misconceptions, challenge biases, and celebrate the vibrancy and positive qualities found within the small church community.