Wednesday, May 17, 2017
The people who study church life and offer strategies for its growth speak of the small rural church as an example of a one cell church. It is not hard to figure what is meant by the term. Small churches do not suffer from some of the problems and complications which plague the multi-cell church, or the large church. A large church is often not really one congregation, but several sharing space, resources, and programs. What often results is conflict between the different groups, or cells within the larger church congregation. The small church does not usually have this particular problem. Certainly, it, too, has its problems; they are just a different set.
There are things the small church cannot do which the large church does with ease. And, there are things the small church can do which are likely to be impossible for the larger church. While the church culture has pushed the "larger is better" concept to the point of almost dismissing the small church as a viable expression of the community of faith, anyone who calls the small church their home knows such is not really true. The truth is some folks would never be at home in the large church even as some folks could never see themselves in the large congregations.
As we all know, there is room for both. Each one belongs to the same God who has called the church into being. The main problem with many churches has nothing to do with size, but agenda. At times we forget to Whom the church belongs. We begin to think in terms of it being our church which is an understandable thing to say, yet, still full of error. If it is our church, then maybe our agenda is the important thing. But, of course, the church is God's and, therefore, the only agenda which really matters is His. Finding and embracing God's agenda is hard work and, unfortunately, the church often reveals itself as being lazy, embracing the easy way instead of the hard way.