The Small Church Movement
By Zac Harrel
This article was originally posted by Zac at his blog found here: https://zacharrel.substack.com/p/the-small-church-moment?sd=pf&fbclid=IwAR2aew7zahilVeU8l7C0IB1aXPN8qmxxvZTPiWRIVDUfRMNBeTwE0qA-8e4
It is a lonely world. More and more we see the effects of long term loneliness continue to manifest in our society and culture. The pandemic accelerated awareness of this huge issue.
I believe this is the church’s time to step into this problem. We have the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ tailor made for this moment. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. The dying world is begging for a place to belong, desperate to know they are not alone. The Gospel proclaims the beauty of the incarnation. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The promise of the presence of the Spirit in the lives of God’s people strengthens us in moments of despair. The church is the tangible presence of these awesome promises and our local body is where we find life giving and sustaining community.
Not only do I believe it is the church’s moment, I believe it is the small church’s moment. Every larger church strategizes and plans to build a smaller community for their members to find a place to belong. In some places it is a Sunday School class, in some it is a community group. Whatever program they use they are all trying to build a smaller, family like community where people can connect with one another.
Small church pastor, the truth is, many or your fellow pastors are trying to find out how to build the type of closeness and fellowship your church experiences week in and week out. I truly believe as we move forward being a small church will be a cultural advantage. People want to belong. As we continue to see the breakdown of the nuclear family people want a place where they will be known and their children will be loved.
Will there always be those who just want a church they can come in and leave without speaking a word? Sure. But, as our pandemic of loneliness continues to grow and anxiety continues to sky rocket our smaller churches are positioned to be places where people can find what their hearts are truly longing for.
Small church pastor, this is your moment. Don’t apologize for being small. Don’t let the enemy convince you your church doesn’t matter because you are small. Your community needs you. This cultural moment needs you. Let the beauty of your tight knit community shine. Be a place of belonging where people can know the power of the Gospel and the tangible love of God’s people. Your time is now.
*The views expressed are those solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Pastor’s Common