These small church leaders then ask me how their church can compete with all that. Again, I think this question is the wrong one to ask because churches are not called to compete with one another. Perhaps a better question is how can we complement what these other churches are doing?
Despite what we sometimes think, there are many ministry opportunities these larger churches are not meeting. Some of these opportunities are where a smaller church can complement the ministry of the larger church.
- There are many people who do not feel comfortable in a large church and prefer a smaller church. Smaller churches can offer a sense of community that will appeal to these people. These folks are not looking for a "friendly church" as much as a place where they can make friends.
- In every community there are likely to be people groups that are not being reached by any church, large or small. Identify them and begin a ministry that will best serve their needs.
- Despite all the talk around contemporary music and praise bands, there are many people who prefer a more traditional worship experience with hymnbooks, pianos, and organs.
- Smaller churches often offer a more personal touch than larger churches can. There is something very appealing about a small church that still recognizes birthdays and anniversaries to many people.
- People with average gifts may be overlooked in a large church but find numerous opportunities to serve in the smaller church.
- Some people have no desire to go to any church but may have issues in their lives for which they seek spiritual answers. They may not want to wait three weeks for an appointment to speak to one of the pastoral staff.