Small-Church Closeness With Big-Church Resources

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There has always been a conundrum for churches regarding the size of the congregation. They work hard to draw in new people, and the congregation grows. Things are happening, the facilities expand, activities expand, and there’s a great deal of forward momentum.

Then the church may reach a size that overwhelms people, and even pushes away existing members. It’s a difficult situation. Churches never actively turn people away, yet their growth and size can sometimes do it for them.

For Christians looking for a new church, it’s very important that they understand just how good their church experience can be as a part of a larger congregation. Many of the negative perceptions of large churches that you may hold are inaccurate.

James River Church is one body of believers that has found some successful techniques to get the best of both worlds for its members. Their success is a model of how other churches can achieve that combined goal, and it includes things that you as a churchgoer should keep in mind if you’re seeking a new church home.

Small-Church Closeness With Big-Church Resources

Small Groups

It’s worth noting that even the tiniest church will still have times when it segments into small groups. It may be a women’s fellowship or a young people’s prayer group, but whatever the particulars, the idea is the same–to bring together people out of the overall congregation who share some sort of interest, demographic trait, or personal situation.

The advantage a big church has here is its ability to provide a critical mass of people for any particular interest that you have. For example, if you work an unusual schedule, you may struggle in a small church to find people who can meet with you and help you build your faith. A bigger church will have others with the same circumstances, and you’ll be able to band together.

Outreach Efforts

Again, most churches conduct outreach in some form. It’s this ability to make contact with people outside the church that gets them to join and develop their faith. As the Bible says, we are to be God’s hands and feet, and it feels great to go out and help accomplish things that help others.

That satisfaction grows as the projects grow. It’s a blessing when a small church can do a small project to help others, but it’s also important that big churches get out there and do big things. It could be reaching out to drug addicts. It may be a response team that deploys to help repair damaged churches after natural disasters or fires. Whatever it is, a bigger church can make it possible for you to find a way to put your skills to work.

Church Management

Every church has logistical things to take care of. There are bills to pay, grass to mow, and even toilets to unclog. The operation of a church administratively and physically requires a lot of skilled people doing a lot of work, often without pay.

Maybe you can’t sing a note. Maybe you don’t feel you know the Bible well enough to lead a study group. Maybe you don’t have the freedom to jump in a truck and head into a disaster zone. That’s okay. You can still help the treasurer track income and expenses, or lead a team to get everything cleaned up before Vacation Bible School. You might be able to get under the hood of the church vans and keep them safely running. Whatever your talents, you’ll find a way to put them to work in a large church.

The concerns most people have about joining a big church are mostly unfounded. Sure, there will be times when you’ll be among large groups of people. But once you find a niche that allows you to contribute, you’ll see yourself benefiting from that size instead of being intimidated by it.

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