Part FIVE of Five
I have pastored four small size churches (under 200) I have worked in churches from 500-1200. There is a difference. Knowing the difference dynamics helps to develop your in your ministry. And all four at the beginning wanted to say small in size. And there was a reason for their belief.
Some members of a smaller church feel threatened when they see the church grow in size. They see the new members and are suspicious of their motives. When new people come in to the church and join and they are placed in to leadership, they are upset.
Too often when a new pastor comes into the church and mentions growth, the members attempt to maintain the status quo or even decrease the size of their congregation. Often when the new staff worker or new pastor hints that the church is not spiritually healthy, he suggests that the church is in a recession. If the church is not fulfilling its biblical commission, and he suggests that their behavior and thinking is hindering the spread of the gospel, their reaction is one of disbelief. They are shocked and offended at such a thought.
For the pastor to suggest that they need to move away from the past if they are going to grow, is an issue that will create friction. He needs to acknowledge that the work done in the past, for sure, has made the present possible, but they need to move ahead to see growth.
In this paper I was trying to give the dynamics of a smaller church.
There is always the exception to all these principles, conscious and unconscious, that determine human behavior and attitudes. The size of the church has a great significance on the minister and the ministries of the church. Size has an enormous impact on how a church functions. I have heard this for years.
Moving a smaller church to the next size church will take change. It will take the leadership’s ability to teach biblical truth in such a way that the membership will desire to see change. It will take the leadership to see some of these dynamics and adjust their effort.
Maybe if the pastor/teacher can teach biblical principles to the membership and be patient, the Lord might see fit to change the attitudes of the congregation about growing into a healthy church. Maybe two in four churches he can.
Our spiritual condition requires nourishment. Though the avenues through which we are fed are many, we can pretty much sum our diet up with the following five activities: PRAYER, BIBLE STUDY, WORSHIP, FELLOWSHIP and SERVICE.
That a church is smaller doesn’t mean it’s more or less holy or worldly. It doesn’t mean they are more biblical in how they do ministry. It doesn’t mean that they are small because they do things right. But you can have a smaller size church and be all the right things. But if you have any of the dynamics I have mentioned in this paper, you do not have a healthy church.
(You know you are a red neck small church if.....)
If your church is controlled by: (or)
programs that are outdated
presumption of the probability of correct belief
philosophy of worldliness
presuming you are spiritual with less people
petrified of conflict
plagued by fear at the idea of change
presumed theological knowledge
polarization groups (breaking up into opposing factions)
porcupine mentality (sticky situations are avoided)
prehistorical educational materials
prescribed non-biblical legalistic rules
you have two outhouses in back of the church
persist in placing the nursery in the back of the church
pianos in your church hasn’t worked for years
pivoting (relying) on own your own internal leadership
parochialism Limited thinking
past history driven
patriarchal families controlled
pragmatic thinking rather than on theological principles
posters of missionaries letters dated 1989 so what if it is 2006
pulpit still has bulletins from three years ago.
preacher tells red neck jokes from the pulpit (Dr. David Bryant)
professional pastors are viewed as less spiritual
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant on December 08 2006 Proof check by Charity Whisnant 12-10-06