By Pastor Gordy
I ran across an interesting article a while back that has not only encouraged me, but also has helped me be intentional with some of our unique opportunities here at Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit.
We are a smaller church, and based on the size of this facility, our parking, foot print and location, the biggest we could be with our current schedule would be a little over 200 average worship per Sunday. By church growth standards, this is still considered a smaller church. So, this is who we are AND, what are some of the strategic advantages to being a church of this size?
is becoming a more important value in our culture. More and more decisions are being based on how “real or fake” it feels. Though “authentic” might be seen as a new buzz word in some church circles, the reality is that the number one reason people return to a church after an initial visit is because they deem the experience “authentic.” Authenticity is especially important to younger people.
Lean and Focused
Smaller churches don’t have the financial resources or volunteer pool to provide a broad schedule of programs.
What smaller churches can excel at is focusing on the unique needs of their local context. They can channel limited resources into a smaller number of programs with greater depth and effectiveness.
Many smaller churches are finding that when they equip and encourage people to serve where they are already active, their ministry and mission is extended into the community and the ministry of the church is enhanced. Though there will always be servant opportunities within the doors of the church, people serving where they are already participating advances the Kingdom of God in ways only God can imagine.
In our culture, nearly 80% of young people who grow up in the church end up leaving by the time they reach college.
Through much research, people who study these things have found a common denominator among young adults who continue to make the local church a part of their life and faith journey. Meaningful relationships with other adults in the church besides their parents is what makes a difference.
All of you who are adults (of all ages) who are not the parent make the difference of a lifetime if you are willing to make the time to build a relationship! Smaller churches are much better at being inter-generational because they can simply do it as opposed to creating a program to try to make it happen.
Ministry on the Margins
There are people who fall outside the demographic of the large suburban church (who are other than Lutheran in tradition), and smaller churches have the unique ability to provide the critical mass necessary to remain energetic about mission, and still be intimate enough to be conducive to authentic community – and this is what many people “on the margins” are seeking.
Being able to celebrate these qualities of a smaller church so that we can clearly share invitation with friends and neighbors who are not here yet really does equip us to participate in the Kingdom of God – and God will take our mustard seed and turn it into a great harvest.
Thanks be to God,