Our culture often gets caught up in the bigger the better and that numbers are the most important thing.
We think that more $$, bigger houses and faster cars are the ultimate yardstick.
In a lot of cases pursuing those things ends up causing pain by breaking up families, bankrupting people who risk to much to achieve that status, and by causing despair in people when they either reach their goals and find them empty - or see those things as out of reach and fall into depression.
So then smaller is better right?
Well one can be lazy, have no purpose, squander what resources they have and be just as miserable as those who have the $$, bigger house and faster car.
As churches do we fall into this same trap?
Do we view the big churches as more successful? More important? Are small churches considered not as good or as important?
I contend that all churches are important and can be great - big or small. It really boils down to the heart of the church and living out the mission that God has called them to fulfill.
So how can a small church be a great church?
1. Live out the mission that God has called you as a church to fulfill.
Just as God has a unique calling and role for individuals, He has one for each church. Discover that calling, focus on it like a laser beam and live it out.
2. Do not try to look and act like a mega church.
That is not what people expect from a small church.
If that is what some people in your church is looking for they probably are not going to last long because they are not part of the DNA of your church.
3. Become Great at who you are!
If local outreach is in your DNA become great at it. Set up a daycare for the single moms, run a fantastic food pantry, have people in your congregation be present in the community. Be true to your calling and make the largest impact that you can!
4. Refuse to settle for anything less than Great.
Just because you don't have a big budget or huge numbers does not hold you back from being great. You may have to be creative, put in some blood, sweat and tears but your church can be great! Stop making excuses, dig in and be great!
5. Keep at it!
Being great is not a single one-time event. The church is an institution and people expect it to be around for the long haul. They may enjoy a onetime super cool event, but without follow-up and consistency you will become a one hit wonder and not a great legend.
For a small church to be great, it's really pretty simple.
Discover who God has called you to be as a church, become great at it and then keep it up.
Do the simple stuff, keep the place clean not cluttered. Strip the 80's wall paper and splash on a fresh coat of paint. Make sure that the worship team and pastor are well prepared on a Sunday morning, do the work! Put your main effort into people not programs. Focus on friendliness not just facilitates. Always give people the space and time to meet Jesus when in your church’s care.
Go Be Great!