According to the National Congregations Study (2012), the median church in the US has an average attendance of 75. That my friends is GraceLife Church. We are really about 90 strong, but average attendance is closer to 70-75 because this is America…and in America, everyone does not show up every week (with a few exceptions). I do not like to refer to our church as small because God is big and His church is the hope of the world. GraceLife is home for families who at one time wanted nothing to do with Jesus or the church. Now, those folks are part of the Body of Christ. There is nothing small about that!
Here are some of the blessings and unique challenges of leading in the median:
Challenge: When two families miss a Sunday, it is very noticeable. Depending on the families, that could be over 10 percent of the congregation!
Blessing: It is hard for families to fall through the cracks. Because of our tight size, it is easier for our community to love and care for people who might not make it every week.
Challenge: Money can be tight at times.
Blessing: We have to be creative and we GET to pray and trust in God’s provision. He never fails.
Challenge: Guests who are looking for a “big show” do not come back because we lack some of the comforts of a “large” church.
Blessing: People who are far from God or who are giving church a second try seem to feel right at home. This allows us to the freedom to be the best GraceLife that we can be.
If you serve in a church that is “numerically small”, be encouraged: God has not forgotten you. You are not a second class citizen in the Kingdom. Do not envy Churches that are numerically large. Celebrate with them! We are on the same team! At the end of the day, “The gates of Hell will not prevail against HIS Church!” (Matthew 16:17-19)