In a small church:
* it's impossible to remain anonymous (unless you simply don't participate and, well then. . .)
* when you show up, you are surrounded by friends
* when you don't show up, people are concerned about your health and well being- even if you are just on vacation
* there's a job for everyone which means the pastor can't and won't "do it all"
* because there's a job for everyone, everyone is using their gifts and talents for the Kingdom of God
* there's a collaborative spirit in the small church because we know what it's like to work on a shoestring budget, with minimal resources, and we are great at tapping into our collective creativity
* worship is like a family gathering EVERY week
* the announcements at the beginning of worship are very personal because we care about all aspects of each other's lives
* children are a major focus and are included in everything; so are the elderly!
* we have the joy of watching each other grow over the years as God draws us deeper into faith and service as we have a common vision for what God is calling us to be and do in the name of Christ
* history and tradition are important foundations for the community
* we have a lot of fun together and that Spirit of joy can be felt as soon as a visitor walks in the room
* it's easy to become a part of the faith family; we welcome everyone!
In a culture that celebrates "bigger is better," the small church simply exists to serve its neighbor. No church is the church for everyone. Each has its own character. But before you write off the small church in your search for a faith home, consider what you are looking for. The small church isn't around to entertain but to inspire. The small church is a true community where love and forgiveness prevail, where spiritual growth is expected, and where we serve side by side in Christ's name.
* When I began serving Trinity Lutheran Church we were only 35-40 but have grown in many ways, including numerically, over the years.