On Facebook, I belong to a “group” called “People Who Are Rather Fond of the Episcopal Church.” The priest who created the group, Chris Yaw, posts articles and reflections every once in a while, giving all of us reasons to love our Church. The one below was posted last week and is particularly one of the many reasons I love St. Nicholas. While we hope to grow our church and the Kingdom of God, it’s important to remember what makes small churches so wonderful.
Small congregations force us to get along with one another. They compel us to understand where other people are coming from and civilly settle our differences, which can be of immense value in the larger world.
Small congregations keep us accountable. You can’t miss too many Sundays before someone calls or drops by just to make sure everything’s OK. We think twice about skipping Sunday services – not just because we miss out on worship, but because of the people who will be disappointed if we’re not there.
Large churches get this – as attested by their emphasis on small groups. In fact, the biggest trend in the mega-church world is multi-site congregations – the establishment of much smaller satellite campuses that promote intimacy and closer relationships.
The Episcopal Church is a small church haven. 80% of our congregations host 150 people or less on Sunday mornings. The vast majority of Episcopalians are converts (70%), and a great many of us came from much larger churches. Many of us joined because of the size. We realize we are created for relationships. We were made for deep, intimate and sacred relationship, not just with the Lord, but with each other. Christianity isn’t just about me and Jesus. It’s about me and Jesus and you.In what ways has your small congregation deepened your faith? Leave a post for the group to respond.