The conference has not started yet, but they hold “pre-conference” (pre-con) workshops on various topics. This year I attended the one offered on the small church. I have always had a heart for small churches and the struggles they face. I grew up in a small church (never more than 100 people) and I have helped start a new church so I am familiar with the struggles and triumphs of serving in a small church.
Many stats I knew from my own research, but the one that is always surprising is that the majority of churches in the U.S. are small, yet they often feel isolated and inadequate, even though God is using them mightily.
There were many great insights and encouragement offered by the presenters (Ryan Frank, Karl Vaters, and Brannon Marshall).
The one point that I want to leave with you from the session is this from Karl Vaters:
Have you ever watched a “reality TV Show” where they re-do restaurants? Not once do they walk in and say that the establishment is too small and needs to be bigger. They seek to work with what is available. Sometimes the small restaurant has a very large menu to try to “compete” with other larger restaurants when what they need to do is to minimize the menu and make things well.
We need to do the same in the church. We need to stop thinking “big” when we are “small”. Stop comparing yourself to the church down the street (whatever size it is). Do what you can do effectively and reach the people God is placing in your path. There is so much more I could share, but be encouraged that you are not alone. Network with others and allow God to use you in ways that you never imagined.
If you are interested in talking about ministry in the small church, then I would be glad to share my experiences and help you in anyway I can.