Big church, small church

i had a friend ask me recently if i would ever want to go back to working in a large church.

who wouldn’t want a bigger salary… more prestige…greater influence…deeper pockets…more resources…a larger audience…superior facilities…advanced systems…improved efficiency?

apparently me.

why not?

when it comes to money,  i already have more than enough…more than i need…and more than i deserve.   why would i want more?

i already have the most prestigious position i could ever hold.   i am treated better than i could ever imagine.   i am respected,  trusted,  and valued in ways that communicate love and worth to my heart everyday day.

i used to believe that influence was determined by breadth.   i no longer believe that.   although influence can be realized on a grander scale,  i prefer to evaluate my influence by a different measuring stick.   i’ll take depth over breadth every time.   increasing the number of people i influence no longer holds an appeal to me.   deepening the quality of my influence does.

there may be a greater number of deep pockets in a larger church,  but there is no way a larger church can touch the kind of passionate generosity i see in my church family.   deep pockets are not nearly as important as open pockets.

i have never been particularly impressed with an abundance of resources.   i love using creative energy and living by faith.   more exciting.   more rewarding.   more ownership.

after all these years,  i know myself pretty well.   i am neither wired nor gifted to communicate to masses.   i connect better to people i know.   i want to see people’s eyes when i talk.    i want to see if i am connecting.   i love knowing the stories of people i am speaking to.

my face would look really bad on a big screen projected to a room full of people.   eewww.

church is a family,  not an event we attend.   i’m sorry,  but as i read my bible,  a pastor was never designed to be the dominant personality of a church.    i couldn’t pull it off anyway.   no part of the body is to be shown any favoritism over another part.   period.

i love me some cool facilities.   some of the church edifices i’ve seen built over the past couple of decades are stunning.    but you can call me a simpleton.   i really like being part of a church family that doesn’t have a lot more than love and service to offer people… because there’s not really a bunch of stuff to be overly impressed with.

north point is far from perfect.   like…really far.   we would probably be a lot bigger if we had more programs and better systems.   we might be bigger if i was a different kind of manager.   i suppose we could possibly be bigger if we were more efficient or had better organization or a different approach to vision or leadership.   (i think about this pretty regularly,  since we get so many new people coming through our doors every week.   it’s craaazy. )

but in the process,  i sense we would probably compromise our identity and personality and calling.   we might lose the very thing that makes us who and what we are.

i know i would.

being large doesn’t make a church family better.   being a smaller church doesn’t make it better.   being the pastor of either one doesn’t have an affect on one’s standing before god  (though it does seem to effect the kind of attention and admiration the big dog gets).

large and small churches both have strengths and weaknesses.   so do their leaders.

i’m good with where i am.   i feel like i’m where i need to be.

i wouldn’t have it any other way.   i hope god sees it that way,  also.


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