Small Church/Large Church... Pros and Cons

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by tyndale1946, Dec 31, 2002.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    So what are the pros and cons of a small church compared to a large church? What is lost going to a larger church and what is gained staying with a smaller church?... Or what is gained going to a larger church and lost staying in a smaller one?... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ December 31, 2002, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  2. rlvaughn

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    My general experience has been with small to smaller churches. Bro. Glen, I don't think large is right and small is wrong (or vice versa), but the reasons for being either may at times been questionable. I will relate one anecdote related to the subject, though. At one time I worked at a home improvement center in a town of about 11,000 people. The First BC of that town had about 500-600 members. I worked with some of the people who were members of that church, and sometimes I would mention to them someone who was a member of their church, and they wouldn't even know them. That was just something I couldn't fathom - not knowing the other members of your own church. That could have been more of a "people" problem than a "size-of-the-church" problem. Of course, I came out of a background where you not only knew everyone in your own church (and where usually related to 99% of them :D ), but also knew everyone in all the sister churches as well. It seemed like my dad knew everyone in the whole county! :eek:

    Cons of large church - to me, some of the things they are willing to do to get large, and the possible impersonal nature of a too large group.
    Cons of small church - I have known at least one church where the people actually DID NOT WANT anyone else to be a part of their little pity party. Oh, no, they did not vocalize that, but every breath and action of the church shouted it from the housetops.

    [ December 31, 2002, 11:05 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    A small church demands more involvement in actually doing the work of the ministry. Most wear many hats and burn out is common. Struggle to offer programs and things that a larger congregation can provide (youth, christian school, music, drama, ministries). :cool:

    Obviously in a large church you can "float" and not do anything in the ministry and still be a part.

    BTW, "large" and "small" are relative terms. Here in Wyoming, a Baptist church of 200 would be large and under 50 would be small. In Dallas, those numbers would be greatly inflated! :eek:
     
  4. Pete

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    I still vote for small [​IMG]

    (There were threads on the topic of "Mega Churches" and small ones a couple of months ago.)

    Pete
     
  5. Refreshed

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    Yeah, but where else could you go but a large church to watch the sermon on a TV screen from a 50's style cafe in the foyer or while you are picking up a big mac at the McDonald's drivethrough. These really exist at some of the "megachurches." :eek:

    I went to church for awhile that was only running about 50 people on a given Sunday. I a short couple of years, it was running 500 to 600 on a given Sunday. It's a lot easier to attend a large church when it started out small and you saw it grow because you get to know new people when they come in. I would still prefer a small church, though, you can't beat the fellowship and friendships you make in a small church where people work together on the building, etc. In short, I love the church I go to now. We very rarely get over 100, but these are some faithful folk! [​IMG]
     
  6. SaggyWoman

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    Cool idea! I may have been at that church. :D

    Actually, the sizes of churches I have been in have ranged from....175 to 500 in attendance. I would call them medium sized churches, because I have visited the huge churches. I feel that I am versatile enough to fit in whatever sized church is available, but look to the growth to make it bigger. I prefer larger churches, though, or helping to grow larger churches.
     
  7. Bro. James Reed

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    Bro. Glen, I don't think these people know what you mean when you say small.

    Let me explain to everyone; in a Primitive Baptist Church, a small congregation would be about 10 people. A large congregation would be over about 50.

    The size of the city you live in really doesn't matter.

    I live in Houston and we have about 25 "attendees" regularly at our church. The other 3 PBC's in the Houston area are about the same.

    On the other hand, Lakewood church, the one on the TV, has about 30,000 members. They have just been approved by city council to buy the Compaq Center, former home of the Houston Rockets! Now that is big!

    In a small church you really get to appreciate the fellow members. When someone is not there, you notice!

    A friend of mine attends a SBC with about 250 members and he doesn't know most of them. I couldn't fathom this; not knowing all of the brothers and sisters in your own church!

    Why, just the time to shake hands in a church this size would last forever! :D

    I love small churches, but I also love watching them grow. If God is in the matter, then the church will be with the Spirit whether there are 2 or 200.

    God Bless. Bro. James
     
  8. Wisdom Seeker

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    Again... my church...5000 active members....is an exception to this rule.

    Sometimes I wish I could float...but I've never had that experience. Most members that are actual members...and not just visitting...wear many hats...in fact every member I know is actively involved in some type of ministry...usually more like 3 ministries.

    But as usual...my experience with a very large church...may just be the exception to the commonly excepted rule.

    One thing I have found about smaller churches that I've visitted....they didn't have as much to offer. I don't mean to offend anyone who goes to a small church that may disagree with my assessment...but this is what I have personally experienced.

    [ January 03, 2003, 12:06 PM: Message edited by: WisdomSeeker ]
     
  9. Molly

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    Some of the most faithful bible believing,bible believing churches are small ones. I am a member of a medium sized church(about 1200 members)...we don't not focus on members being *plugged* in to minstry...I cringe when I hear that,we focus on spiritual growth that comes from knowing the word and living it...we then serve in the area where we are gifted to edify the body of Christ,as we learn and grow. I'm not looking for what a church has to offer,but am looking for biblical faithfulness,with an emphasis on family,what I mean by that is the father is being trained to be the head of his home,while the wife is being taught to be keepers at home,and all Titus 2 teaches about her role,the children are being taught their role. The church and family has an integral role together for worship.

    [ January 03, 2003, 12:14 PM: Message edited by: Molly ]
     
  10. stubbornkelly

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    I basically grew up in a large church (active membership of 500 families), and always felt lost in the crowd. I can't think of a time I ever really felt included, and I was quite involved through my middle school and early high school years.

    I much prefer small. By which I mean around 100 active members or so.

    As far as WisdomSeeker's observation that smaller churches don't have as much to offer, I think that depends on what you're looking for. The meeting I currently attend doesn't have a media ministry, so if I was looking to be involved in one, I wouldn't be going there. Thankfully, I'm not (my home church is heavily involved in media - 50 years on TV last year - and it always felt extremely impersonal to me to have three big ole cameras in the sanctuary), so I don't feel like I'm missing anything because my meeting is small and private.

    On the flip side, my home church offers very very little in the way of "charity begins at home," whereas my meeting is heavily involved with the local community.

    Some other things I'm willing to trade on.
     
  11. Pete Richert

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    I have attended churches with 30, 80, 150, and about 3000 membors or so. They all have their pros and cons. In a 30 person church you know everybody, everybody is involved in ministry, and scheduling events is easier. However, if a couple of families (who are actively involved) move away (which happens all the time, especially in this rocky bay area economy) then you are threatened to have the church fold. Those families may have had half the real responsibility of the church. Also, you might have a "youth group" on one high schooler. We don't need youth groups but it can be pretty lonely if there is no one else you age in the church. Or you might be a young couple with the only baby. No one else really to relate to. It is hard to support a full time pastor with a small congregation, and while I am fully supporative of tent maker pastors I prefer to have my pastor have a full 40 hours a week to study, learn, visit the sick, pray with people, and otherwise build up the body of Christ.

    In the big churches I have attend you solve all the above problems and throw in qutie a few more. Now you know more people but a much smaller percentage and it is easy for clicks to start. Most of the large churches I atteneded have Sunday Schools of about 60 or so people who act more like your local church, with leadership, fellowship, pray times. These are the people you get to know personally and not the couple thousand who meat for the main meeting. In this way you sort of get best of both worlds. Large churches can support missionaries all by themselves, which is another plus.

    All in all, I prefer small, but not tiny.
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    In all sizes of churches, somehow I have always felt included. In churches I didn't feel included in, I just left and found another.
     
  13. donnA

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    I don't think either is the right and/or wrong church. I think it's personal preference. I am sure a larger church has a lot to offer people, probably with more ministires oppertunities. We go to the largest church in our area,we average anything from 120 to 180 on any givn SUnday, so by local standards we are a large church, but some friends go to another church about 45 minutes from here who have probably 1000 people. I don't think i would like a large church, it doesn't seem as personal in relationships, and you can just get lost there, and not be required to do a minisrty, because they've been lost. It would feel to me more like opperating in a business, rather then a place of worship, and ministry. But thats just me. It may be perfect for others. Like I said no right or wrong about size.
     
  14. Aaron

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    It all depends on how they're run in my view. The predominate reason some prefer smaller churches is intimacy. (At least among those that I have discussed this issue with.) I think the same thing can be accomplished in a large (1000+) church if there is a plurality of elders (pastors), each responsible for no more than 20 or 25 families.

    And if 1 Cor. 14 is followed for the order of worship, each pastor could be heard from the pulpit. (Not all in the same service, of course.)

    Just some thoughts.

    [ January 03, 2003, 11:05 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  15. Justified

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    I have to agree with Dr. Bob, in that with a small church you also can make disciples of Jesus Christ.

    But in any case, it would also depend on how the church was grown.

    If it was grown through witnessing, discipling, & soul winning, then the church is good, no matter what the size.

    If it was grown through entertainment, then the church must keep up the entertainment to keep growing and keep its people.

    Man's morality, will dictate his theology! :D
     
  16. Ps104_33

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    I have found that (not in every case, mind you) a mega church is a reflection of a Pastor with a mega ego.
     
  17. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Brother James I can't imagine a church with 30,000 PBs... It would take all week just to shake hands and knowing some PBs like I do they want to shake everyones hand :D ... You and every other who have been with PBs know our ways with shaking hands and hugging brothers and sisters! [​IMG] ... That is why I like the PBs and have been with them for 35 years when I come home from church I can still feel the lingering brotherly warmth of the brethren!... I know in 5th Sunday Meeting and Associations the circle of brethren that encompass the sanctuary is called the circle of love!... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ January 06, 2003, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     

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