One pastor writes, “After the morning worship service a mother with a fidgety seven-year-old boy told me how she finally got her son to sit still and be quiet. About halfway through the sermon, she leaned over and whispered, ‘If you don’t be quiet, pastor is going to lose his place and he will have to start his sermon all over again.’ It worked!”Andy Stanley (son of the well-known minister, Charles Stanley) is the pastor of a mega-church in Atlanta, Georgia. Recently, Rev. Stanley attacked families in his area who attend small churches, basically stating that parents who do so were putting their children’s spiritual welfare at risk because small congregations cannot provide the range of programs that larger ones can. Here’s a direct quote, “When I hear adults say, ‘I don’t like a big church because I want to be able to know everyone.’ I say, you are so stinking selfish.” It is said that the world has 2.2 billion Christians, over one-half of whom attend small churches that average in number, around 75-80 total congregants. And these small churches are found in every nook and cranny of the world, both those free to assemble (publically in villages and towns), and those not free to gather (secretly in homes and hideaways). As a matter of fact, statistically, worldwide there are far more small churches than there are all of the fast food restaurants and chain department stores put together.
The bottom line? Almost all of history’s greatest saints (preachers, missionaries, hymnists) came from small town churches, including that fella from Nazareth.