Small Churches Rock, Too

  1. quiltbabe8 says:

    Amen and preach it, sister. My first church experience after college was in much the same type of church. There’s no better place to see faith in action in others’ lives, and to be challenged to put a walk with your own talk. So glad *both* you and Dennis and the kids like it.

  2. Kimberly says:

    Love this! I am not from Nashville but have lived here several years and plan on staying. When I set out to find a church for my small family I pretty much stayed at the first church I attended (still not a member though). It is not a megachurch (I don’t personally like them at all) but it is not a small church either. It is an old, traditional church much like the one you describe only much larger. I love most everything about it but two things you mention really resonated with me. First of all nobody really knows me or would miss me if I am not in attendance one Sunday. Of course I haven’t joined a Sunday School class so that has a lot to do with it. The second is my daughter’s experience. Even after a year and a half she still doesn’t seem excited about going to church and doesn’t have any friends there though she does play with the other kids. Some of the kids in her class are there every week but there does seem to be some variability. So when you wrote
    A small church is less intimidating to childrenthat big churches can be intimidating to small children it made me stop and think. I can’t decide if I want to stay there or not and that is one of the big reasons why. I ask myself, “does she need more time” “should we be more vigilant about attending regularly” “will things change as she gets older, especially once she is old enough for the youth group”? I just don’t know but this post helped me think about some of the questions I have been struggling with. I just don’t know what to do….
    Sorry for the rambling!
    Thank you!

    A small church is less intimidating to children
    A small church is less intimidating to children

    • Kimberly says:

      Hmmm… Don’t know why “A small church is less intimidating to children” appeared twice at the end of my post! Sorry about that. I was trying to past that sentence at one point but I don’t know why it appeared at the bottom! Oh well.

  3. Maryanna says:

    I haven’t gone to church in quite a few years because the large churches here in Nashville made me feel so uncomfortable. They were nothing like the small church I grew up in where we had “greet your neighbor” time as the choir came down or as my niece called it when she was young “half-time”. I’ve been thinking about church a lot lately…this encourages me to find a smaller neighborhood church. Thanks!

  4. Julie Presley says:

    We just moved from Fort Worth to the Austin area and had been on hiatus from a local gathering for a few months because we were Mega-Churched OUT. I just couldn’t stomach it anymore. We’ve been to a very small fellowship here twice, and I think it’s where we’re going to end up, for all of the reasons that you mentioned. We want to be seen, and to see, to bring value and be valued, and we want the same for our kids!

  5. Nashvillegirl says:

    Growing up in a small New England town, my Baptist church was small… When my husband and I moved to Nashville in 1994, we were completely overwhelmed with the mega-churches. We ended up being a part of one, for about 10 years. After that, we switched to a small local one…..I guess we grew tired of being fairly anonymous even after 10 years…

  6. Meg McCormick says:

    So very true. I grew up in a small church and when I go back even today, the same people welcome me back. My church now is bigger, but still, it’s no megachurch. We wear nametags, but we almost don’t even have to. You really have an opportunity to get to know people and be part of a community in a small church… and the more you give, the more you get in return.

  7. Leigh says:

    This is all so very true. We bounced around various Houston churches for a very long time before finding our current home, and I never liked it when we attended large churches–I hated feeling anonymous. And trying to get plugged into a ministry was like trying to get into grad school–there were classes and interviews and that was only if you could get someone to return your phone calls!

    Give me a small church any day. The music may not be perfect, the preacher may not be TV-worthy, but the friendships are real.

  8. muskrat says:

    For a while when I first moved to Atlanta, I was either attending Northpoint (2nd largest church in America right now) or a church with fewer than 100 folks out in Covington that was pastored by a friend from college. I liked the dichotomy. Sadly, my friend moved to FL to pastor another church, so we go to Buckhead (a satellite of Northpoint), and I miss the little one in many ways.

  9. Brenda W. says:

    As someone who’s getting burned out on megachurch life, I appreciate this perspective. Thanks!

  10. eep86 says:

    Its funny, we’ve done the exact opposite and it has been just what we needed. Getting involved in church, especially small church, can cause a whole different set of issues to deal. Both have their pros and cons. Thanks for your perspective. I definitely miss the community of our smallish church.

  11. Pete Wilson says:

    I give this post a hearty AMEN!!!!!

    Now some may find that surprising since I do in fact pastor a mega church (I sometimes still have a hard time admitting that). However, I couldn’t agree more. I have no idea where the world (and Nashville) would be without the incredible collection of unique smaller churches.

    There’s no doubt that mega churches receive an unfair amount of attention and admiration in today’s society. The overwhelming majority of churches around the world are actually quite small in size and our often made up of incredibly faithful men and women who have been serving, loving, and giving for years and years without any fan fair.

    I guess at the end of the day DIFFERENT churches reach DIFFERENT people.

    It’s why we need small churches and big churches…conservative churches and liberal churches…missional churches and attractional churches. We need communities gathering on weekends and weeknights coming together believing that we can make this world a better place by the way we love and serve one another.

    So thankful you and Dennis found a great home.

    • Stephanie says:

      I’m so glad you responded to Lindsay’s post because I also feel like I’m ready to make a change to a smaller church. I’ve attended CrossPoint Dickson for the past few years. I’m so grateful for this church…my faith has never been stronger & it’s because of CrossPoint. I agree that different churches reach different people. I needed a bigger church to awaken my faith. For the first time in my life, going to church became important.

      It is with heavy heart that I won’t be attending service this Sunday for the first time. However, I’m excited about the next step in my spiritual journey. Im ready.

      Thank you Pastor Pete. We’ve never met, but you’ve touched my heart so many times with your inspiring messages. Im forever thankful.

      *Of coarse, I still plan on watching your messages via Internet 🙂

  12. Whitney Jordan says:

    LOVE this!!! We are getting ready to make a move and I loved hearing all of the benefits of being a part of smaller churches. I think they tend to get overlooked in the age of mega churches. I’ve been a part of a smallish church before and miss the community. Thanks for giving me the push to be open to finding a smaller church where we can really plug our family in and GROW!!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I love this so, so much. I grew up in a small Presbyterian church just like the one you’ve described, and it was formative. I still keep up with some of those people. Many of them came to my wedding, sent us baby gifts when our first child was born. And they shaped who I became. Priceless.

  14. Sally says:

    Couldn’t agree more Lindsay! We attend a small Methodist church in small town Williamson County and love it! We average between 75 and 95 per week and couldn’t be happier or more involved. We need different sizes of congregations because we all need different environments where we can worship and learn. I’m so glad y’all found a church home!

  15. TerryReed says:

    What a great post! I have been in the ministry for over 30 years and have worked exclusively in small churches. Do they have issues and problems? Sure–anytime you get folks together you’l lhave stuff. But the blessings have been tremendous! Thanks for your wonderful article!
    Terry Reed
    Small Church Tools

  16. Deanna says:

    I absolutely agree. Many years ago we tried the local Baptist church with several hundred members and after an entire year of being there consistently, people would ask us if we were new in town. Every Sunday. We’ve now attended a small Presbyterian church for years – raised our kids in it – and these people are family. We generally have 50-75 in service on Sunday mornings. That means everyone pitches in to do the work of the church.

  17. Megan says:

    I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and while you wouldn’t define the church, as a whole, as a “small neighborhood church,” the individual wards are. Every line item that you wrote, I thought yeah, that is such a positive of our church. Glad you’ve found a church that is welcoming and involving for your family!

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