The bible tells us that there is unity and diversity in the body of Christ and all parts are equally important.
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12
Karl Vaters shares compelling examples and insight on the benefits of small congregations in his book .
“It’s really easy for a congregation member the look at a pastor on the stage on the platform and think, ‘Wow, they’re really doing something for the kingdom of God.’ And it’s just as easy for a small church pastor the look at a big church pastor at the big church down the street and think, ‘They’re really doing something for the kingdom of God…I’m smaller so I must not be important.’”
Karl elaborates on the significance of our role in the body of Christ found in 1 Corinthians 12.
“The fact is we are all different parts of the body. You’re called to be a hand; I’m called to be a foot or a big toe nail or something. I’ll play my part and I won’t be jealous of the part that Christ called somebody else or some other church to play.”
There are unique benefits to both small and large churches that allow them to carry out effective ministries.
“The benefits of the big church are fairly obvious; big resources, they can offer a ton of options, etc.”
“I want to say this, I’m not anti-big church – I love big churches. You get 3,000 people together to worship Jesus, how’s that not anything but great? I just also am in favor of 3,000 people worshiping Jesus in 30-40 small churches as well.”
Karl explains a few of the benefits that small churches have in relation to big churches.
“There are a handful of things that small churches can do better than big churches can and you really see it when you talk to small church people about why they go to look small church. Most small church people will say, ‘In a small church I know the pastor; I can call the pastor, the pastor can visit.’ There are people who want to be pastored by their pastor and that’s not a bad thing.”
“Another thing a small church can do well is people who don’t have quite as much obvious skill in ministry get a chance to help out a little more.
“In a big church, if you’re still learning to play guitar you’re never going to find yourself on the stage leading in worship. In a lot of small churches if you will step up and bang out those 6 chords, they will gladly welcome you and put you in charge. You tend to get better at it faster so you have a real opportunity to accelerate your gift and to utilize it much earlier.”
We are all called to unity and diversity within the body of Christ, regardless of our church’s congregation size.