This attitude became prevalent with churches as well. The bigger the better. But is that really true?
Just like in the picture above where the cruise ship is bigger than the passenger liner, the church bought into the idea that its mission was to be the one stop shopping center for Christians. Bookstores, exercise rooms, and theatrical productions were all promoted to draw people to come to the building to experience everything Christianity has to offer. No longer was the church seen as God’s instrument to help people get from where they are to where He wants them to be.
But is that the vision that Jesus gave?
Here at the Vineyard Church we took the time to stop and ask ourselves the question of what type of church did Jesus set out to establish. We looked at where He invested His time, where He did ministry, and where was His focus. It was very different than the church we had become accustomed to.
Because of what we saw, we have intentionally changed course and now value being a small church because in a small church we can accomplish the mandate of Jesus to make disciples.
Studies have shown that 10 churches of 100 will win and disciple more people than 1 church of 1000. The reasons are simple.
In a small church deep relationships are more easily formed leading to more mentoring situations.
In a small church there are more places available for people to serve and learn by doing since serving is not left up to the professionals.
In a small church there is less pressure to get everything right or perfect because we know we are all just human beings with flaws which facilitates more risk taking. We believe faith is spelled R.I.S.K.
In a small church new ideas are able to be tested and implemented because there is less bureaucracy to deal with in getting permission.
In a nutshell, the small church is a family and not an event.
Tie that to our belief that everyone gets to play, that with no logo there is no ego, and a leadership culture that is collaborative rather than authoritarian and we believe we have the ingredients that will produce the type of church that Jesus meant to establish.
So for us, small is the new big. We are not here to get people to watch us do the things Jesus did. We are here to teach others to do what Jesus did and as people catch our vision, we even have plans to send people out to do what we are doing in other communities and across the world.
We do not ever have any plans on being big in numbers. We will give them away. Our only plan is to be big in real authentic Christianity.