The first thing I should acknowledge is that although small churches and larger churches, churches that preach Jesus Christ as the only way to Heaven, have the same Master, they still seem to compete with each other for the same resources. People.
Measuring victories in a small church can be helpful and hurtful. We bought a couple of projectors with our limited budget. While this is a major step in the right direction for our small church, it still needs to be acknowledged that most churches already have this type of luxury. A step forward that seems large to the pastor is really not anything in comparison with larger churches.
On the other hand, if buying a projector is a major step forward for small churches, then it is possible that these churches could possibly ride this type of wave to the next victory. This is really important. If a pastor, with the help of the laity, can put enough of these successes together, then eventually it is possible to see major advancements in comparison with other churches.
Another issue that small churches to need to grapple with is the problem of not being big enough to offer services that can minister to people. Churches under 100, unless highly motivated as a collective body, struggle to offer children’s ministries, teen ministries, and etc. Most do well to have some type of Sunday school.
What has to happen? Should small churches simply shut their doors? This does not seem to be the answer. While many of these small churches cannot compete with other churches, on the grounds of being able to offer services to people, they are able to offer relationships in place of those ministries.
The problem with small churches is that we tend to compare ourselves, sadly, to larger churches. Henry Blackaby reminded his readers in Experiencing God, that we should observe where God is working and join Him. While God works through ministries, we must not forget that He works through relationships when we love Him and love others.
Instead of focusing on relationships, a lot of small churches try to scrap old music for modern music in the hope of attracting more people. This may work at times, but I feel more comfortable with small churches focusing on relationships when they are small. Modern music, it seems to me, will occur as a by-product of healthy relationships with each other.
The small church pastor must simply pray and seek the Lord. It is easy to wear yourself out trying to make the church what you think it should be. But in the end, the church will be what God intends it to be. Understanding this formula can go a long way to finding peace of mind instead of great frustration. I am still learning this.