An article sent to me compared mega churches versus small churches. In this article, a statement was made that in one part of town, you have a mega church that is saving thousands, and in the other part of town, you have small church that is saving a few. Therefore, the mega church is growing, while the small church is dying.
My first response is churches should not be in competition with one another. Instead, churches should be striving to spread the gospel together.
This time of year, Texas Baptist churches begin to gather information for their Annual Church Profile. The numbers reported in the Profile assess growth of the church and may represent the decline of the church—if you are only looking at the church by using numbers.
Just as our Lord does not look at our outward appearance, we also should not look at the outward appearance of the church using only numbers.
For those who enjoy numbers, here are a few that might surprise you:
• Small churches that average 150 or less in worship make up 81 percent of Texas Baptist churches.
• The average attendance in these churches on any given Sunday morning worship is 31.
• When the convention’s 81 percent of these small churches gather to worship on Sunday, you have more than 136,000 people worshiping the Lord, serving the Lord and being a witness for the Lord.
Together, no church is too small. These churches are building up the kingdom of God, through their heart for missions, heart for service and heart of faithfulness. The size of the church is not what makes a difference; it is the heart of the church that makes the difference.
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I want to encourage pastors serving on the small-church mission field: You are not alone, and you are not small in the eyes of our Lord. You are doing great things that are making a great impact to the furthering the kingdom of God.
Regardless of what your numbers are, this is not who you are. The Lord looks at the heart of the church, not what is listed on the Sunday school bulletin board. So let us measure the church not by numbers, but by their heart.
The Lord has called you to serve, but he has not called you to serve alone. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (432) 202-1526 for more information, or visit our website to learn how the Bivocational/Small Church Association can minister to and serve you.
Remember, “Together, no church is too small.”
Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for Tri-Rivers Baptist Area.