Getting Small Churches on Mission (Part 1)

Small church pastors should view their congregations as an elite force.


As the people of a missionary God, we are entrusted to participate in the world the same way he does—by committing to be his ambassadors (see John 20:21; 2 Cor. 5:20). “Missional” describes the perspective to see people as God does and to engage in the activity of reaching them. The church on mission is the church as God intended, loving our neighbors as ourselves, and proclaiming the good news of redemption found in Jesus.

Small Matters in Mission

In today’s church culture, we seem to focus a larger percentage of our writings, thoughts, and conferences on larger churches and how they are reaching people for Jesus. Their pastors seem to be the go-to public figures for speaking invitations, and their model(s) of church growth are extolled as something for all churches to emulate.

But while there are many reasons to celebrate the things larger churches have already done (and continue to accomplish), sometimes we fail to overlook (at best) and neglect (at worst) the work that small churches can do and are doing. Small churches (250 or less members/attenders) make up the vast majority of evangelical churches in the United States.

Popular pastor and author Francis Chan left a church he and his wife had founded, a church that had grown to over 5,000 in its seven years of existence. Recently he went into detail on why he left:

I got frustrated at a point, just biblically. According to the Bible, every single one of these people has a supernatural gift that’s meant to be used for the body. And I’m like 5,000 people show up every week to hear my gift, see my gift. That’s a lot of waste. Then I started thinking how much does it cost to run this thing? Millions of dollars!So I’m wasting the ...

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