"THE BENEFITS OF A SMALL CHURCH"
Just because we are not large does not mean we are worthless or unimportant.
Churches come in all sizes...
Some are large, numbering in the thousands, even tens of thousands
Some are small, with as few as two or more people meeting in a home
The definition of church sizes is rather arbitrary.
Each size has its advantages...
There are things a larger church can do with its increased resources
But there are benefits of small churches often lost in larger churches
A STRONGER SENSE OF FAMILY...
A small church is one where almost everyone knows each another
Face-to-face interaction is much easier
Even when we don't remember their names, we remember their "face"
A small church is one where it is easier to develop familial relationships
A sense of "family", which is proper –
1 Timothy 5:1-2
An opportunity to cross generational lines
Where children learn to relate to others besides their peers
Where young and old benefit from each other's strengths
The family of God is a wonderful blessing (Mark 10:28-30)
A blessing most often experienced in small churches
GREATER OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW
The roles to fulfill are not that much different between large and small churches
Roles such as serving in public worship, Bible classes, etc.
Whether large or small, the number of teachers, preachers, song leaders, etc., that are needed is about the same
The ratio of roles to members is usually much greater in small churches
Simply because we do not have a large pool of members to choose from
Therefore there is often a greater need in small churches
Larger churches often require a large rotation in its use of members
Opportunities to preach, teach classes, serve in the public worship may be rare
One may have the opportunity to be used only once in a long while
Smaller churches use those willing to serve much more frequently
Out of necessity at times, but can also be by design
Small churches are often the training ground where leaders for large churches developed their skills.
One's absence is more keenly felt in a small church
Especially when needed to fulfill a certain role (e.g., Bible class teacher)
One's absence can be overlooked for several weeks in a larger church
For those needing encouragement, this is important
It is too easy to get lost in a crowd
We need brethren who will take notice when we begin to show signs of weakness
Proportionally speaking, more preachers, teachers, elders, and average members have been developed by small churches than large churches
THE OBLIGATIONS OF A SMALL CHURCH
NURTURE SENSE OF FAMILY...
Congregationally, by providing opportunities for spiritual fellowship
Do this by Bible classes, gospel meetings, etc.
visitation programs, to encourage the weak, minister to the sick
Individually, by providing opportunities for hospitality
inviting others into our homes, going out together
getting together for social occasions, such as potlucks
As we seek to nurture our sense of family, we must be careful not to limit our efforts to those in our physical families!!
PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH...
Training those willing to learn and serve
men's classes on serving in public worship, preaching, teaching
ladies' classes on teaching ladies, children
Utilizing those willing to develop their abilities and talents
providing opportunities for men willing to preach, lead singing, etc.
likewise for women willing to teach children, other women, etc.
WATCH FOR STAGNATION...
It is tempting to want to remain small
Because of the advantages of a small congregation
Its warmth, friendliness, etc.
The Lord expects us to grow –
Matthew 13:31-32 and John 15:1-2
We should not be content to remain small
We should be seeking to grow both as individuals and as a congregation
If we are not on an upward spiral of growth, we are likely heading downward
Again, there are advantages to different sizes in congregations...
My point has not been to suggest one size is superior to another
My purpose has been to ensure we do not let smallness become a hindrance
As a small congregation...
We need to focus on our strengths, which should lead to growth
If we do not, we will likely stagnate, if not die altogether.
Focus on our strengths as a small congregation, and it is more likely we will remain healthy when we become a larger congregation
(Note: I realize there are also challenges and limitations for smaller churches and I do not want to be misunderstood. No matter the size of the local church, we still must do these things to build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-16).
By Carey Scott
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