5) Pastor proximity nurtures discipleship. A small church often affords its members an actual friendship with the pastor and pastoral staff. It’s not difficult to meet and know the leaders—and come to them for counsel. That kind of pastor proximity—not found in a megachurch—often nurtures church loyalty and the desire for discipleship.
6) The church doesn’t revolve around the pastor. Because people in a small church know their pastors personally—their strengths and weaknesses, their assets and flaws—they’re also less likely to create a pastorcentric church and instead build a church that’s about people—not the leader. Most megachurches are magnets for dynamic communicators that create a large following. When people can honestly say they’re part of a church because they find true community and they’re growing spiritually there—not just for the great teaching on the weekends—you know your church is not pastorcentric.
Megachurches have made certain contributions, and we should praise God for their influence in our modern world, but never overlook the contribution of the small church as a protective womb where individuals are nurtured as they live for Jesus Christ.
FROM THE BEST OF OUTREACH: This article appeared in the 2006 Outreach 100 special issue of Outreach magazine.