As a new parent, this saying was little comfort: Little children, little problems; big children, big problems. But now that my kids are grown, I see its wisdom. But it made me wonder if this is also true: Little churches, little problems; big churches, big problems. What do you think?
Like many of you, we've served in churches of all sizes. I seems to me that the problems many big churches face is due, in part, to the sheer complexity of dealing with so many people. But for many little churches, their main issues revolve around just surviving--not enough young families, not enough resources, not enough help from the Conference. This is a really big problem for all of us if our Church is to be the hands and feet of Christ.
While being small is also no excuse for not being a faithful witness, it does mean that the old 80/20 principle just cannot apply--you know where 20% of the people do 80% of the work. I've known many vibrant small churches, but those are also the churches in which everybody helps. There just can't be any dead weight. These are also the churches that can and often do grow. And it takes a lot more than just an energetic, dedicated pastor and spouse.
So what are small struggling churches to do? What is your experience? Should they just be closed and give up? Or is there still a viable place for the small church?