I am constantly surprised by what seems to be a prevalent attitude that I encounter at smaller churches. Many are, in my opinion, overly focused on growth, having assumed that people in their communities are more likely to be looking for larger churches with bigger programs and resources. However, research shows that a significant number of people express a decided preference for involvement in a smaller church. Many prefer the connections and relationships they make that come more naturally in a small church environment. Thus, a friendly, compassionate small church can reach a substantial segment of the population that larger churches cannot. If you look closely, you'll find that one of the major success factors of healthy larger churches is catering to this natural desire for better relationships. They all have thriving small group ministries. A successful outreach ministry doesn’t depend on the size of a church or the variety of the programs they offer, but rather on the depth of their love and compassion, and the consistency of follow-up towards those who visit with them. Think about it: When has more and bigger ever been a standard for quality? If your congregation can convey genuine sincerity and love, if they can be friendly and outreach oriented, your chances of success increase dramatically. Of itself, a small church is no cause for dissatisfaction or discontent. Churches of all sizes, types and kinds are needed to reach out to people from different walks of life. Smaller churches do not need to feel that they must become larger in order to have an effective outreach. They may even have the advantage in reaching their community if they can properly organize themselves and follow-up consistently. The lesson? Be happy and content with who you are, and the size you are. If you let the Lord lead you in your mission, trust that he will also guide you into the right sized congregation.

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