I love statistics. I think we can learn a whole lot from them. And I think a lot of mistakes can be easily avoided if we would pay a little closer attention to stats and trends.
Here’s an interesting statistic. Nearly 60% of all the churches in the U.S. have less than 100 people in attendance at their primary Sunday morning worship service. That’s approximately 177,000 churches.
Here’s another one. Almost twice as many people in the U.S. attend a church of less than 100 than attend a “megachurch” (a church with over 2,000 people in attendance at their primary worship service). Approximately 9 million people worship in churches of less than 100, while 4.7 million worship in churches of more than 2,000. Nearly twice as many people attend a church of less than 100 than attend a church of more than 2,000.
So why is there so much attention and emphasis placed on megachurches? There are far more “small” churches, and far more people attend “small” churches. It seems to me that far more time and energy needs to be given to helping “small” churches be more effective.
Since becoming the pastor of a “small” church, I’ve learned that “small” is a very relative term. The church I pastor averages 50 people on Sunday morning, and we’re actually one of the larger churches in our local association. Many churches average 10-20 on Sunday morning. I would call that small, but once again, they might consider themselves to be quite large if they are in town of 100 people. I mean, I don’t know of many churches that have effectively reached 10-20% of their town’s population!
I guess I’m just saying that we “small” churches are actually quite a large group with quite a bit of diversity, and that we actually have more influence than we often realize. Don’t think of your “small” church as weak and powerless. Think of it as a vital expression of Christ’s Body in your area. God has been, is, and will do amazing works through you and your church if you continually seek Him, and leave the numbers to Him.