Small Churches: Sitting At the Kids’ Table

Share

Kids' TableIt happens every time families gather for their holiday meals. There’s never enough room at the well-appointed dining room table for everyone so the children are relegated to the kids’ table. There they eat on paper plates with plastic utensils at a flimsy card table covered with a plastic tablecloth and sit on rickety chairs that didn’t sell at the last garage sale.

The adolescent children long for the day when they too can join the adult table where it seems like the conversation is always more substantial and the table appointments are always more abundant. Even though the food is exactly the same, the kids’ table is often a mediocre representation of the adult table.

Smaller churches and their leaders are sometimes separated along the same lines of demarcation from larger churches. Adult table wannabe’s.

Church statistical information, however, indicates that 95 percent of American churches average 350 or less in worship and 75-80 percent of those congregations average 150 or less. And according to a new study from the Hartford Institute, more than half are under 100. So smaller churches are actually the norm or largest majority of churches nationwide, not just a mediocre or irrelevant representation of larger churches.

Every church, no matter how small or large should be developing distinctly and becoming uniquely the congregation God has called them to be where they are with what they have.

Smaller church leaders could learn from secret agent, Angus MacGyver, the main character in an action-adventure television series that ran for seven seasons beginning in 1985. MacGyver was able to find clever solutions and solve complex problems with everyday materials at hand. If he wanted to survive each week, he couldn’t wait until all the people and pieces were in place to begin.

Offering what is available even with some of the smaller church limitations is not settling for the mediocrity of the kids’ table. It’s also never a license for laziness or a lack of preparation since loving God with heart, soul, mind and strength and loving our neighbors isn’t contingent on congregational size or abilities.

Smaller churches must continue to pray that God would send more people, stronger leaders and greater opportunities to influence their communities and the world. But like MacGyver, they are called to create something unbelievable with what they have available now instead of just biding their time until they get to sit at the adult table.

Share

Leave a Reply