Churches withIN Churches

Much has changed in the past months including the fact that one of us (Gary) has taken a part-time position as Visitation Pastor of a larger-than-small church.  What has NOT changed is our heart for the small church. Interestingly, the church in which we now worship and serve has begun to call its Sunday School classes "small churches"!

This recent Facebook post by a friend reminded us of our heart for small church ministry:

"Go to the nearest, smallest church and commit yourself to being there for 6 months. If it doesn’t work out, find somewhere else. But don’t look for programs, don’t look for entertainment, and don’t look for a great preacher. A Christian congregation is not a glamorous place, not a romantic place. That’s what I always told people. If people were leaving my congregation to go to another place of work, I’d say, “The smallest church, the closest church, and stay there for 6 months.” Sometimes it doesn’t work. Some pastors are just incompetent. And some are flat out bad. So I don’t think that’s the answer to everything, but it’s a better place to start than going to the one with all the programs, the glitz, all that stuff." -Eugene Peterson.
Then, this morning a Twitter post linking to 12 Reasons I Love My Smaller Church appeared on our feed. Simply written, it makes a strong argument for vibrant small churches - whether separate entities or churches WITHIN a church.  It includes this statistic from a 2016 Barna survey:

…the largest group of American churchgoers attends services in a more intimate context. Almost half (46%) attend a church of 100 or fewer members. More than one-third (37%) attend a midsize church of over 100, but not larger than 499. One in 11 (9%) attends a church with between 500 and 999 attenders, and slightly fewer (8%) attend a very large church of 1,000 or more attendees. (www.barna.org)

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