preacherman

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Releasing The Power of The Smaller Church

When I was in Abilene this past week, I went to the Abilene Educational Supply. I love going there and buying books to read. I may mention some of the books that I've gotten over the next couple of months, but thought that one particular book would help those who are planting churches and those who are currently in smaller congregations. The book is entitled, "RELEASING THE POWER OF THE SMALLER CHURCH," edited by Shawn McMullen.

I know we live in a world were everything has to be big. "Supersize me."
" I want the mega super bucket of popcorn and the bladder buster diet coke." We want the big screen plasma televisons with high definition. We want the biggest house on the block. We even measure success of the church on the size of the congregation.

The majority of churches in America are smaller churches (churches with an average worship attendance of 200 or below). I believe this book might be a good tool for your congregation if your congregation is 200 or under. I know and understand that not everything in the book will be useful for every congregation, for example, I work at a small country church and we would be our own small group. :-)

The questions I have for you ministers or those of you who attend smaller congregations are: What is the benefit of a small congregation over a larger congregation or vice versa? Is it easier for a smaller congregation to find it's talents? What about getting lost in the crowd? Is is easier to "get connected"? When someone is sick, how do people know about it? How do people pray together? What about the love and unity of a small congregation? Is there a difference between a small and large congregation in this area? Are there different styes of leaderships depending on the size of the congregation? Ministers, what have you found most difficult or challenging? Why? Are there some benefits of a Mega-Church or a larger congregation? What would they be? Do sometimes we compare our small churches to the Mega-churches? What can happen when we do that? What happens when we base the health of a congregation on its size?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

51 Comments:

Blogger TREY MORGAN said...

I think more emphasis needs to be given "small church" work. We tend to focus on what the big churches are doing.

Let me know what you think of the book. Not sure the Childress church would fit in the "small church" category, but it definitely isn't a mega church.

Blessings

3:05 PM  
Blogger Frank Bellizzi said...

Kinney, seems like Lyle Schaller has written about the dynamics and unique character of small churches. If that's right, you would really appreciate what he has to say.

Virtually all of the NT churches were what we refer to as small (or at most, medium) sized. One great aspect of small churches is that they don't leave worship, teaching, etc. to the professionals. They can't. My guess is that, per-capita, big churches produce fewer Christian leaders compared to small churches. For example, in a megachurch, when does a kid get to stand on a box and lead his first song? I did that in a church of about 50.

The small church has many great qualities. Thank God for the small church.

6:11 PM  
Blogger ROD said...

I agree. The big churches offer opportunities to hide; the small churches offer opportunities to minister.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Darin L. Hamm said...

I am interested to hear about the book.

11:15 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

The Chapters Include:
Forwards are by Dr. David Faust
Forward by Jeff Walling

Chapter 1 The Power of the Smaller Church
Shawn McMullen

Chapter 2 Personal Growth: The Learder's Walk with God
Jerry Reeves

Chapter 3 Preaching and Teaching: Finding Time and Staying Fresh
Steven Mahoney

Chapter 4 Life at Home: Preserving and Protecting and the Leader's Family Life
Barry P. Klein

Chapter 5 Elders and Other Leaders: Building Positive Relationships for Effective Decision Making
Brian Ingalls

Chapter 6 Team Ministry: Organizing for Effective Service
Mark G. McGee

Chapter 7 Conflict Management: Maintaining Unity Through Prevention, Invention, and Revoltion
Barney Wells

Chapter 8 Sunday Schools and Small Groups: Teaching God's Word With Purpose
Eric Bingman

Chapter 9 Men's Ministries: Reaching, Teaching, and Mentoring Men
Barney Wells

Chapter 10 Women's Ministries: Reachings, Teaching and Mentoring Women
Colleen king

Chapter 11 Connecting Points: Media, Public Relations, and the Church's Image in the Community
Ken Tackett

Chapter 12 Buildings and Building Programs: Making Your Presence Known
David Kester

Chapter 13 Encouraging Words for Smaller Churches
Shawn McMullen

I thought everyone would want to see the chapters of the book and see if you might want to buy it.

I again believe that this book is going to be a great tool for any small church but again will adapt part for your own congregation.

I think this is going to be a great discussion as most churches are small and medium size as mentioned by brother Frank Bellizzi as in the NT.

So let's discuss the questions asked in the post.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Wow! I'd like to address question one and number seven hundred and sixty three... =) Sorry this is so long of a reply, but we have to talk about this stuff, so here goes.

I preach at a little mission congregation on the Cherokee Indian reservation in Western North Carolina. We used to be small (3-4) but now are moving toward mega (24-36) after a little more than 2 years.

I say that half in jest, but the fact is, among 37 groups of various names and identities worshiping here we are now nearly in the top 10! In many small communities like ours that is too often the case. Lots of tiny churches that don't or won't do anything with anyone else.

Something we are trying to do is to become part of the community rather than an island in the midst of it. So many churches suffer because of a perception that they are only interested in themselves.

We have allowed the building (that is all it is after all) to be used for funerals and viewings of unchurched people here in Cherokee.

First it opens the door to reaching out and making contacts with people who are not likely to come through our doors otherwise. It also helps us to stretch and exercise in areas like hospitality, compassion, and a genuine concern for those we would never get to reach out to otherwise. Think of it as reverse door knocking if you will...

We are going to plant a community garden for the second year, as it has also brought out new faces to help garden and harvest both crops and people. Two of our new families are a direct result of sewing these two kinds of seeds, literal and spiritual.

Our food and clothing closets are small but effective in reaching people in need. It is true that most of those who come our way for this stuff only selfishly see us a a free Wal-Mart. For a while I got bummed about it, but Jesus experienced the same issues. "Were there not 10 lepers cleansed, yet only this one has returned to give thanks?!"

I became involved in a community bible study, originally hosted by a Methodist minister who got reassigned just as he was beginning to be effective. Don't get me started on how foolish, it seems to me, for churches to pull the plug on a minister after 2-3 years. It takes that long to start being effective in so many small towns, where people want to watch you for a while to see if they can really trust you.

Anyway, this group of 12-18 meets every thursday evening at the local Ramada Unlimited, where they give us their conference room to use for free, as long as it isn't otherwise booked. When it isn't available, we just meet in the 2nd floor common area. The group is made up of men and women from at least 4 different 'denominations', yet it is people who are seeking to truly read and understand God's word and will for their lives. Some of our new members are a direct result of that study.

The old expression, "It's not about the size of the dog in the fight, rather it is all about the size of the fight in the dog", applies to all who see them selves as small churches. I think we are our own worst enemy when we "can't" do something because we are too small.

Don't allow the king of lies to tell you that. One talent of ten, God expects us to use what we have and put our trust in Him. Now, take up your slingshots and go out there... it's nothing but Goliath, and God is way bigger than a giant.

Jimbo

12:52 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Jimbo,
I want to thank you for sharing your experience with your congregation. It is very inspiring and actually give us an example of what is going and ideas. Thank you brother.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Frank Bellizzi said...

The book I was thinking of, by Lyle Schaller is "The Small Church is Different."

More thoughts about small churches:

One thing that happens when all of the focus is on mega churches is that small churches want to be "full service" like the big churches. But they can't. And it's just frustrating when someone thinks the small church he belongs to should act like a big church.

Small churches simply can't do a lot of things. But they CAN do one or two things really, really well. Small churches should identify the one thing they already do well and accentuate that positive.

About preachers: In large to mega churches, the preacher is expected to be a bit of a successful business man. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It can be a very "kingdom" thing for a big-church preacher to function well as an administrator. (At one large church, a woman complained to an elder "Preacher Smith is running this church!" "Good!" said the elder, "that's what we've asked him to do.") A huge mistake is made when a preacher goes to a small church and tries to take on the persona of CEO. Small church preachers should think of themselves as chaplains, pastors.

Thanks for bringing this up, Kinney.

1:27 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

the church of Jesus can be thought of as small, as two souls in prayer, or large, as all saved souls that ever were and are. if the church is put into limited human definition then we are limiting the knowledge of what it really is and what it can do.

i say this in all love for you and for all of the souls that make up the church.

if we are all looking to the head, Jesus, then it does not matter so much what we think but what Jesus thinks.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Danny said...

Have you ever heard of a book entitled "The Big Small Church Book" by David R. Ray?

God bless your work in 08!

3:56 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Frank,
Thanks for recommending Lyle Schaller's book. It sounds like is going to be a great read and tool as well. The points you make are so right.

3:59 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Danny,
No I haven't but thank you for the book recommendation. How has it helped your ministry?

4:00 PM  
Blogger Alan Knox said...

Thanks for visiting my blog again. I've added you to my feed reader, so I'll keep up with your posts.

I think size - as in number of people meeting together is important - but perhaps not the most important factor in church meetings. I've been in meetings with large numbers of people and meetings with a small number of people. The desire of the people to encourage one another and help one another grow into maturity in Christ, and the desire to live with one another in community outside of a scheduled weekly meeting is much more important than number of people, in my opinion.

That said, I do believe it is easier to encourage one another and live in community with one another with a smaller number of people than with a larger number of people.

-Alan

4:35 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Kinney,

Thanks for the invitation to visit. I especially enjoyed this post, as I have recently begun work at a small (100) congregation, and we are just about to open up our new building, which will hold about 200.
I will definitely get the book, and thought that I would share a thought or two.
I have been of the opinion that we exert too much pressure upon ourselves and our congregations to grow in numbers. I have always felt that if we are doing God's work, He will add to the church. I also think that the average size of congregations isn't around 200 by accident. This seems to be an ideal size church to reach out to its immediate surroundings. Possibly, instead of trying to build bigger church buildings, we might try building MORE church buildings, by planting new churches. I'll quit before I take up too much space, but this has been one of my pet peeves for a while now.

4:51 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Alan,
Thanks for your comments and adding to the discussion. At the church I am currently at the encouragement to each other is huge. It comes in various ways as well. Which is so wonderful.

I also appreciate you adding me to your feed reader.

4:58 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Keith,
Thanks for adding to the discussion. I agree about how much pressure and the focus on numbers. We need to look at health in another ways. Faithfulness. Involvement. Etc. I agree that if we are patient and trust God will provide the increase. Remember Paul said, "plant, others water and it is God who provides the increase." The increase in God's time isn't sometimes on our time table. I appreciate your comments and would love for you to add to the discussion any time.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

I have never been a member of a megachurch. The largest congregation had about 600-700 in attendance. The smallest had about 35-50 on Sundays. I have enjoyed both environments. Maybe someday I will be in a megachurch, but I don't think the timing is right for me at this time.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Monalea said...

Preacherman,

Thank you for the kind words and prayers. I'm doing better. My husband preaches at a small church. There are so many blessing, closeness just being one of them.

Monalea

11:02 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Is smaller better? Well, lets see... The first one had well over 3,000 members and got by with only 7 Holy Ghost filled deacons! I understand that soon those numbers began to win others and move to different locations, but I'm not sure that there were not many large churches in the first century. When Paul wrote two letters to the Corinthians it certainly appears that he was addressing one congregation. We don't know the size of the church there but we do know that there were folks there who spoke different languages, reflecting that great great hub city of many thousands.

Alan, made a great comment. I agree that more effective personal growth and ministry happens in smaller numbers. That is why at WFR, our small groups are one key to our effectiveness in carrying out God's will for our "one another" relationships. At something over 800 members it doesn't feel at all like a large church to me. I have found that my close circle of "forever family" is about the same as when I attended churches with 100 or less.

Does size matter? Perhaps, but not as much as message. In my view, those churches who preach Christ in word and deed do not usually stay small if the population is sizeable. Those who preach "being right", "doing right", and the "right church" often do so at the expense of the Christ who is alone able to save a soul.

His peace
Royce Ogle

2:25 AM  
Blogger Bob Bliss said...

Kinney, when I was in North Jersey I read the book by David Ray about the small church. I also read Schaller's book. It really energized me and my work. For a while anyway. Most of the books on small churches are written from the perspective of the small country church that doesn't change much in its membership. Our congregation in North Jersey was a revolving door. I was there 17 years and we saw over 300 people move in and then out again. If only we could have had those people stay 20 years! Only 2 families had been there longer than mine when we left after 17 years. The turnover rate is extremely frustrating. It is the reason I had to leave the congregation. I was emotionally drained, saying hello and good bye constantly.

Still I'm glad that there are books that focus our attention on the different dynamics that exist in the different sized churches. There are some members who think things ought to work the same way no matter what the size of the congregation is.

The congregation in North Jersey was about 75 when I arrived. After 5 years it grew to 115-120. Then a slow drip back down to 75 over the next 10 years. I discovered that the people we baptized dropped out because the ones they made friends with had moved. Then I discovered that some we baptized had moved themselves. The transient nature of the congregation was a reflection of the community at large.

Then I moved to a congregation that was around 160 (in South Jersey). They had been pretty stable in membership and began to be more transient after my arrival. Kids went off to college, people moved to another state, people moved in from other states, people died. I think their long history and stability made it a little more difficult to integrate new members and newly baptized Christians.

Now I'm in a congregation close to 200. It is also part transient and part stable. Just when you think you understand your congregation someone in the leadership moves and a whole new dynamic takes place. New leaders will change the way things are done.

I don't mean any disrespect Royce, however I think your viewpoint about having the same message is naive. I do think the size of the congregation affects their message and what they think is important. A smaller church will emphasize different aspects of our message than a larger church. A smaller church will feel threatened by different teachings and different people than a larger church. A smaller church cannot afford to change things (teaching or ministries) because they may lose half their membership and that devastates a small church. A smaller church has a closer fellowship that includes all the members. They see the whole congregation as a single family and not broken up into smaller groups. Churches under 200 are more threatened by small group ministries. They (often unconsciously) will protect their fellowship from outsiders (those who move into the area and even those they baptize). It is harder to integrate new members and newly baptized folks into the smaller church. I'm not saying that this situation is right, it's just the way it is. You must take steps to change it and you must take those steps cautiously.

The one benefit I did notice in my 17 years in North Jersey was the opportunity for others to be more involved than they were "back home." I agree with Frank that the smaller church produces more leaders. I noticed that many who moved into our congregation were "cultural" Christians "back home" in their larger congregations. In our congregation they could continue in their non-involvement but they certainly had more opportunity to be involved and some took advantage of it.

Well that's one cent of my two cents.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Gilbert said...

I've been in large churches that truly preached the gospel, loved each other, and loved the community around them.
I've also been in large churches that got too caught up in themselves and their numbers. They also tended to be a mile wide and an inch deep.

I've been in small churches that truly preached the gospel, loved each other, and loved the community around them.
I've also been in small churches that preached an "I'm right, your wrong" gospel. They stayed small because they didn't like anyone else.

I think it is unfair to say "large churches are this way..." and "small churches are this way..." Each one has its strengths and each one has its weaknesses. I believe leadership is the key in both churches. If you have the right leadership, with the right spirit, then it doesn't matter how large or how small the church is. It will be a benefit to the Kingdom!

That is just my two cents.

8:27 AM  
Blogger John Frye said...

Kinney,
I appreciate your encouragement to the small churches who face different challenges and offer particular opportunities to leaders and people. I, too, did a blog series some time back on the "Joys of Small Church." God bless you.
John

8:40 AM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Bob,

No offence taken. So far as "message" is concerned I will only add this.

Our church would likely still be 200 to 300 if our elders had not been committed enough to God and the truth to teach only what they found in the Bible rather than continue to teach Restoration tradition as doctirne.

Our mandate is to preach Christ. I know of no valid reason to sugar coat the message to please some who want to cling to a works based salvation which is unbiblical.

Paul's most stern warning was to those in the churches of Galatia who added to his gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus. He said it is "another gospel, which isn't really another" and he said they were trying to "pervert" the gospel. He said twice of those who would do such a thing that they should be "accursed".

No coC preacher teaches circumcision as a requirement for salvation today, but I assure you that any other addition to the true gospel message Paul preached is just as wrong.

His peace,
Royce

10:14 AM  
Blogger Jason Campbell said...

I love the small church. Not sure how effective it is categorically to lump the 20-member church in with the 80 member church and the 160 member church, but so be it for the sake of discussion.

As the minister of a growing church plant in the 60+ category, I want to be BIGGER. In the area we are, we cannot stay the size we are and remain faithful to God--there are too many to reach and it's too easy to reach them here. If we aren't growing, it's because we're not faithful.

By the same token, we are also not planning on "getting big". It is part of our DNA and vision we share with every person in our church that as we grow, we are not heading for Salem-style megachurch status (400-500 is the megachurch in our town, there are only a couple). Instead, our vision is one of healthy reproduction: healthy living things reproduce themselves, and so our church (once it reaches a certain level of maturity) needs to have a baby.

We've already sent out one set of couples whom God had called to church planting, and in the future, we hope to be even more involved in taking a chunk of our talented, God-ordained people and send them out the door to plant another church in Salem or beyond. This will very intentionally keep us in the 250-300 mark. 300 before we send, 250 afterward.

Churches of this size can be very personal as well as very influential in a community our size. I think the numbers would be different if we lived in Stayton (20,000 people vs. Salem's 160,000+).

Thanks for a great post!

10:16 AM  
Blogger Josh Graves said...

"One Size Doesn't Fit All" is a great work.

I think God uses different churches for different purposes. In the modern world, our fascination with replication demanded that everything be uniform in order to be unified.

I'm glad those days are coming to a close.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Preacherman,
Sorry I'm joining so late. Great questions.

Good to encourage small groups. I think what is to take place "naturally" by the Spirit, might easier be worked out in a smaller grouping, or in smaller groupings. Of course the larger churches can have that dynamic too as they set aside time and space and priority for that.

I think it's so important to connect relationally, and to emphasize quality in reference to what's going on in terms of God's will revealed in Scripture and in Jesus.

Thanks, brother. I look forward to more.

12:21 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

John,
Thank you so much for you recommending your series. I am going to read it. I want to encouage all of those who are in small churches to read the Series: The Joy's of Small Church Ministries.

Terry,
I know if that is God will for your life you will brother. I pray you can reach as many souls you can for the cause of Christ.
Thanks for your comments.

Monalea,
I am glad you are feeling better. As I mention you are still in my prayers. You are right, the closeness that people feel in a small church is so comforting. Everyone feel so close to eachother. In my case in the congregation I work with it feels more like a "Family" than a "Church" which is great and those who come in and visit and have place membership have felt the love.

Royce,
You are right on the day of pentecost the Lord added to their number 3000. As you continue to read in Acts we see persucution after the stoning and sever persucution in Jersulem and the Christians scatter. I believe when they scatter. The churches are smaller. House churches. Lydia's house church, etc.
Yes we should preach the message of Jesus Christ and the good news of the gospel. But, the message does change from a mega church to a smaller church. Issues are different. Illustrations used are different. Etc. If change where to take place to fast in a small church it could cause a split that could cause the church to shut its doors. Different ministries can't be done in smaller churches because of budgets.

Bob,
Thank you so much for your comments and experience in working in smaller congregations. Thank you for sharing with us your personal experiences and what you have learned over the years. It is greatly appreciated. Just for the short time I have been working at a small congregation can see what you are talking about.

Gilbert,
I want to thank you for stopping by and adding to this discussion. You are welcome anytime. I understand the views you have seen in both kinds of churches. I have seen them in them as well. I am blessed at the congregation I am currently ministering. The people are really loving and gracious.

Jason,
I am praying for your new church plant as you know. I pray that you and Dwayne Hilty have a very successful church. Thanks for adding to this discussion. Yes, what ever size we want our Christians/converts to be peronsible. Encouraging. Edifying to one another. I agree that God can use every size of congregation for His purpose and will to be done. Jason, you will be in my prayers. Keep up the great work brother. May God bless your new Church plant.

Josh,
I totally agree "One Size Does Not Fit All" I totally agree with your comment. I believe you are right on target with what you are saying. He uses each church for His glory. Excellent point!

12:33 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Ted,
Thanks for your comments.
I appreciate you adding your thoughts on this discussion.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Jason,

Awsome! That is the model I prefer and I think entirely biblical.

I wish you great success as you and your folks join God in His redemptive work.

His peace,
Royce

1:24 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Can the health of a congregation be based on love, faith, joy, hope, righteousness? What do you think? Is things evident in smaller congergations in which we can base health? What do you think? I have learned that in a small town you have grandma and grandpa went to the "such and such church" so I'm not going to leave it to come to your church. Or they are not going to come to your church because they have been taught that their faith is the only right faith. When new people move into the new town they usually know where they are going to attend because of their faith. So what can be done?
Any ideas?
What has worked for your congregation?
You can answer any of the above questions regaurding health or give the ideas on what can be done, what has worked, suggestions for growth, etc.
I have appreciated everyone discusssion.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

Hi preacherman,

I miss the days when I was in a small church that had a covered dish meal after service every week. That church really became close family. We raised our kids together, almost like uncles and aunts to each other's kids. We were in each other's homes every week. That church started with 13 people, and grew quickly. It was a blessing to see that group grow to 185 in five years -- but like I said, I miss the days when it was a small group.

10:15 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Alan,
You are so right, one thing I love is the pot-luck lunches on the second Sundays. Wait. This Sunday is a second Sunday. Alright! :-)

9:11 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I love the fellowship the we share with each other on those second Sundays. Laughing and sharing conversations is very uplifting for a small congeration. The different flavor of food of course; the ending the afternoon in praise and worship with eachother. I look forward to those days but not only I but the entire church as well because it is such a blessing for the entire group.
We leave in the afternoon and don't return for evening services, just on that second sunday. It leaves people in the church to do what they like that day: nap, watch the Dallas Cowboys or Spurs play; spending time with family and getting reading for the week ahead. Those second Sundays are such a blessing for us.
Are there things that are a blessing for your Church?

9:40 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

One thing for small congregation is for them to truly believe that they are just as important as a larger church. The key is to maximize what the congregation has and quit crying over what it does not have. The widow with the money was only judged for what she could do. But sometimes small churches of a small faith. They do not believe they are valuable in the kingdom. This is not true.

11:52 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Matthew,
Thanks for your adding to the discussion. It is important to think your are an important part to the kingdom no matter what size. God bless your congregation brother.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Odgie said...

Kinney,

Not sure that I have anything to add after the thread of great comments, but here it goes. I proceed with the caviat that my perspective is based on my experience and study alone.

In smaller churches, more people contribute their talents. In addition, the sense of family is more palpable than in larger churches.

Of course, larger congregations have a greater pool of talent to draw on.

My knowledge base may be a little out of date (I haven't worked in full-time ministry since 2000) but I believe that church growth studies have shown that the gospel is spread more effectively by a plurality of churches in a community rather than one gigantic church trying to service the community.

Excellent post brother, and I hope you write more about this. Peace.

2:09 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I have noticed how everyone loves and encourages eachother is a huge drawing card that may not exist in Mega-churches as you can get lost in the crowd much easier. I love how when you walk in the door right away brothers and sisters are giving people hugs, encouraging one another, asking about how they are doing and what can be done about certain needs.
Have you seen this in your congregations? If so, explain how it has been an extraction to those visiting and looking for a church?

2:14 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

It happens at my church. There will still be folks visiting 45 min to an hour after the service is over on Sunday. On Wed before and after the same "one another" social time is alive and well.

One of the reasons we are on our way to reaching 900 in membership is that we are so very friendly and informal. People find there people just like them. They are the same in the grocery store as they are on Sunday morning, just real people who love the Lord.

His peace,
Royce

2:49 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

Sometimes I think it depends on what you need--when I was a young widow with two teenage sons and a foster son, I chose to worship at a very large congregation so that my children would have numerous opportunities to be involved with many godly man, so that they could meet young christian women and so that I could find the support I needed as a christian single.
My new husband has preached in smaller congregations and for this time in our lives, they are exactly what we need. God is so good!

Blessings
Neva

12:21 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Royce,
Thank you so much for sharing that encouraging experience with us all. It is so ecouraging when Christians are able to fellowship with eachother no matter what size or make up. I believe that is what is so beautiful about the boady of Christ.

8:06 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Neva,
I think it is wonderful how different churches can meet different needs at different times in our lives. I ever think of different make up of people can be encouring in life as well. My parents church for example is made of up of mostly an elderly congergation so, elderly people are encouraged by different messages that meet their needs in life. Other churches are made up of younger people and the messages are relatevent to them such as: family relationship, parenting, work situation, etc. I think it is wonderful that your sons had a chance to expereince a church that had a youth ministery program that could minister to their needs. It is wonderful how God's Kingdom on earth is here for us to meet need and help us in our journey.
Praise God!!!!
Thanks for sharing your story with us Neva it means so much to me.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I do think smaller congregations have a lot of benefits--it's easier to know everyone, and each person has greater responsibility in keeping the church afloat and thriving. But the goal of any congregation is never to be small or stay small; any healthy congregation will always want to bring more and more people into Jesus' flock.

2:35 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Thank you Andrew for your comments. You make some excellent points. I hope you will feel free to stop by any time. God bless.

9:41 PM  
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