Benefits of a small church
1. Churches come in all sizes – 2 or more and some reach 1000 – 10000
2. Justifying the size of a church can vary depending on who you ask.
Small – less than 200 (80% of all churches_
Medium – 200 – 400
Large – 400 and above
3. Each size has its advantages – large churches have more resources available
Small churches have benefits that are often lost in larger churches
The purpose of this lesson is not to encourage us to remain small but to remind us of the great benefits we have here at Lone Grove and the obligations we have as a small congregation.
I Benefits of a small church
A. Stronger sense of family
1.We all know each other and it makes it easier for us love one another and know every one by name etc.. Notice what Timothy says about treating your brothers and sisters in Christ.
1 Timothy 5:1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger as sisters, with all purity.
2. You get a strong sense of family from this verse. Notice what Paul says in
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
3. In a small church it much easier to know who needs help and it much easier to see who is missing. This is not an easy task in large church. I want you to really think about what Paul tells the Corinthians about the church in,
1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
Functioning as body in unity is far easier in a small church than a large one.
1. It is more personal
2. It is easier to know when someone is hurting
Notice how Paul describes the body as individuals who all have a part well this brings us to or next point in that
We as individuals have a greater opportunity to grow
1. In a small church there is a greater need for every person to get involved because their a more roles for each us to do. A person can get lost in large church and never use the talents.
A Large churches usually have a large rotation between song leaders, bible class teachers and leading prayer or serving on the lord table.
Large churches do have more resources available and more people that can grow the body of Christ but the small churches have the same obligations as the large ones in that we are all trying to win souls for God. Even though we are small it doesn’t change the fact that we can be successful in winning souls for God. In fact we a smaller church can make new people feel more comfortable because we have a family type of atmosphere as to where a person might be overwhelmed if the went to a church where there was over 5000 people.
We need to keep in mind that throughout the Bible we see God accomplishing great things with a small groups of people.
Lets take a look at one example. It comes from the OT.
Judges 6:11 Now the
Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in
Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon
threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the
Midianites. 12 And the Angel
of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, "The LORD is with
you, you mighty man of valor!" 13
Gideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all
this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers
told us about, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from
Sometimes I think small churches think like Gideon here thinking they are to weak or to small to do great things for God. Notice Gods reply.
16 And the LORD said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man."
The first order of business was for Gideon to tear down the alter that his father build for Baal and so he took 10 men with him and tore it down in the night because he was scared of his father and his men. Next Gideon didn’t seem to sure of himself again so he ask God for a sign not once but twice. 1st he asked him to make a fleece of wool wet and the ground dry and then he asked for he opposite the next day. Well Gideon was convinced but look at,
Judges 7:1 Then
Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him
rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the
Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the
valley. 2 And the LORD said
to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me
to give the Midianites into their hands, lest
You remember at first
Gideon thought that he was too small and to weak now God is telling him that there are to
many. So he narrows them down to 300 people to go against over 135,000
Midianites. As the story goes on these small 300 men wiped out the
Midinaites and saved
This example shows that we should never become discouraged at our size. Instead it shows us that we can make a difference and we can do great things for God’s kingdom if we will simply put our faith and trust in God and realize that he is on our side and that we can do all things through him.
There are many things we can do as a small church to help us grow.
1. We need to participate in more opportunities for spiritual growth.
a. Through fellowships
b Visitation programs
c . Men need to get more involved in leading prayer singing, etc
2. We need to be willing to train people to taking on leadership roles. It has been said that more preachers and an active Bible teachers come from small churches more so than large ones.
Another great advantage we have as a small church is it makes it easier to watch for stagnation.
1 It may be tempting to keep the church as it is and do nothing to add to the family but this would be wrong for us to do. In bigger churches it more difficult to see who is active and who is not but in a small church it is easy to tell if we as a whole are being active and trying to grow Gods kingdom or if we are just sitting around doing nothing. If we see that we are becoming stagnate we need to pull together and get on fire for the Lord once again. Jesus tells us,
John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
There is always a need for us to be growing and to be active because we want to remain in the vine so that we will be pleasing to God.
Finally we have a great advantage on watching for false doctrine.
There are advantages and disadvantages to the size of a church. My point was not to say that one size is better than another. My main focus was to show that even if we are a small church we can still do great things to bring glory and honor to God. So let never forget that God is on our side and through him we can accomplish anything that we put our minds to.