Several years ago I wrote an article for Church Solutions magazine (no longer available) about the increase in small church voices populating the web. I knew from my experience that there were many small church advocates. However, when I did the research for the article I came across a virtual army of such sites. By themselves they are a beautiful sight but when seen together they represent a growing movement of minds that are discontent with the status quo.
They are discontent with the hypocrisy of denominations that are so focused on mega and large church needs that they don’t remember how to relate to the small church. They are discontent with the whispers echoing from the dorms of the bishoprick that the small church should be subsumed by the latest church planting movement. (So that the plant can have a place to meet.) They are tired of the efforts to train them in the latest growth principles (another large church template placed on the small congregation).
Many of these authors are the brightest and most disciplined men and women among us. If they could be united under a single banner it would change the course of Protestantism in America and create a level playing field for every church no matter the size.
We need a Small Church movement for this reason and because:
- The majority of Protestant churches in America are small. Over 80% on average have a weekly attendance of 70 persons or less in worship.
- Denominational leadership does not recognize, understand, or represent the small membership congregation. This is understandable. The big church is where the big money is and it takes big money to run a bureaucracy.
- The Small Church pastor needs the encouragement such a movement would provide.
- Small Churches need an organized voice within Protestant denominations at the national, state and local levels.
May the Lord hasten the day when such a movement exists and when small member congregations are appreciated for their great contribution to the Kingdom of Heaven.