Episode 019 – Regaining Dignity for the Small Church Experience
Is bigger always better?
Most of you who listen to TheBLAST Podcast are Americans and can therefore vouch for the fact that, given the option, Americans tend to gravitate toward things that are bigger. Just think of the smartphone phenomenon: remember when they seemed to be getting smaller and smaller? Seems like eons ago, doesn't it? Nowadays, the bigger the screen the better! Likewise, just drive down any American highway and you'll notice a healthy mix of cars, SUV's and over-sized trucks on the road (and I don't mean big rigs). Don't get us wrong, we at TheBLAST like big phones and big trucks as much as the next guy. But has the same kind of "bigger is better" attitude trickled into the church?
That's an interesting question. Of course we always want our churches to grow. If we are not growing, we are dying. But does growth automatically equal great numbers of people coming though our doors and occupying chairs? Actually (thankfully) it doesn't. According to Pastor Karl Vaters at Christianity Today's Blog "Pivot", 90% of churches consist of less than 200 people.
What's more, 80% of churches have less than 100 people. What that means is that, while our churches themselves might not be great in number individually, they are great in number as a body. So, if you are in a smaller congregation, be encouraged; you are actually in the vast majority!
We take a break and enjoy some music from Jimmy Needham...
Anyone who knows Evangelist Richard Brooks will agree that he is a most unique individual. No one will ever question his desire to win the world for Jesus, his passion for the new and growing congregations, or his unparalleled optimism. Our interview with him in the second segment was one for the record books. For us to try and summarize it here is to do it an injustice. Just listen!
Our second break features music by NEEDTOBREATHE...
In segment three we seek to encourage those of you who are laboring diligently, many times in obscurity: the pioneer pastor, the pastor of the small/growing church, the faithful disciple. We draw upon some of our take-away's from our interview with the Evangelist and say, keep going!
If you look at the empty chairs in your church and think to yourself, "what we're doing isn't working," but you know in your heart of hearts that what you're doing is right, take heart. As Pastor Campbell has said, "Right always comes out right." Don't grow weary in well doing and one day you WILL reap a harvest!
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Lastly, Pastor Dragoon has issued a challenge should you choose to leave us a voicemail: We'd love to hear a fired-up, holy-ghost, conference-style testimony (without the time limit, of course). Do this and we'll feature it in a future episode!
Until next time BLASTers, Godspeed!