Small churches could be the next big thing
Lay Servant Ministries
My first experience as a member of the United Methodist Church was at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. A little overwhelmed by the size and unsure of Methodist theology, I joined the staff. While in ministry at Resurrection, God called me to “preach from the pulpit of small United Methodist churches,” and I left the staff to pursue Lay Speaking in 2011.
Much to my surprise, I immediately fell in love with small churches. I have found many reasons to value small churches, three of the main reasons include these:
- Small churches are personal -- People notice your presence and your absence. People are known. Prayer requests are often out loud and in the moment. Faith grows in real, personal relationships.
- Small churches are typically down-to-earth –Jesus was down-to-earth. Humble and simple are words that should describe a church. A small church, especially a struggling small church, seems to have a leg up when it comes to humility. Humility is foundational to faith.
- In small churches, the hard work is done by the congregants – Mowing the grass. Making coffee. Planting a garden. Opportunity for hands on ministry for a home church builds a sense of community and people become invested in their church. This is faith in action.
Maybe instead of joining small groups, some of the people in big churches should join a small church. What if the next big thing is … small?
Julie Schropp is the Kansas City District director of Lay Servant Ministries.