The Strategically Small Church

I recently completed reading a short book (168 pages) titled, The Strategically Small Church (Brandon J. O’Brien). It was an easy read and a book I recommend to anyone who is ministering in a small church.

I love small churches. 

I didn’t always feel that way. I use to think that if a church was small there was a problem, and if a church wasn’t growing numerically, there was something wrong. I had dreams of pastoring a megachurch. But I have come to the conclusion that pastoring a large church is not God’s plan for my life, and may never be…And I’m ok with that.

A small church, done correctly, is a beautiful thing, and that is what the book points out. The book doesn’t make the case that the small church is better than the big church, and neither is the big church better than the small church, the book simply points out that there are some advantages a small church has over a large church…and I whole-heartedly agree! But here is some things to keep in mind, and these are my ideas, not the book’s:

Being a small church doesn’t mean the people (and leaders) in the church are small-minded.

Just because a church is small doesn’t mean it is dead.

Being strategically small is different than being intentionally small.

God’s Kingdom needs churches of all sizes in order to reach all people. 

Some of God’s greatest pastors and servants minister away from the spot light, in small churches.

The only people impressed with large churches are believers in small churches who wish their church was large. The unchurched are not at impressed with size.

Here is a quote from the book (p. 15)

“What is a strategically small church? A strategically small church is one that has become comfortable being small, because it has learned to recognize the unique advantages of its size. A strategically small church realizes it can accomplish things that larger churches cannot. This doesn’t make it better or godlier. But it means it can proceed in ministry not from a sense of its deficiencies, but from confidence in its strengths. Strategically small churches are strategic for the kingdom of God, because when they embrace their identity, they can make an enormous impact.”

What are your thoughts about small churches?


5 thoughts on “The Strategically Small Church

  1. The larger the church, the more it becomes a business. The more it becomes a business, the more it gets concerned about money. The more it gets concerned about money, the more it gets concerned about not driving anyone away. The more it gets concerned about not driving anyone away, the more it avoids the teachings of sin, sacrifice, and the reality of hell. Can’t make anyone uncomfortable, they may leave and the revenues will drop.
    There are some great large and mega-churches that have been able to avoid these trappings, but it is very hard. That is why Jesus said it is hard for a rich man (same holds for a church) to enter the Kingdom of heaven.

    • I agree with your article, but the wallpaper on this website looks like something you would find on a heavy metal cd cover. We Christians are to be salt and light, not graffiti and darkness. I have noticed this trend of using blacks and shades of gray on church websites and find it very disturbing. It looks satanic to me. I advise you to find something refreshing and not so “worldy”. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the book suggestion! I like the subject and discussion. Maybe there is an optimum size for a fellowship of believers and maybe it’s not big, but small! I mean both in terms of close community and edification, and mobility and outreach. I think most larger churches are certainly multiple smaller groups organized into layers. I visited a larger church with a family member a few years back. I asked them who they new by first name other than the speaker and they sheepishly said no one.

    By the way, I like your wallpaper and find it very ‘christian’!

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