I had this epiphany this past summer on my vacation. We were hanging out in South Lake Tahoe trying to steer away from the crowds and I thought to myself, “I hate crowds.” As soon as I thought it I had one of those Holy Spirit injected thoughts run through my brain, “So why have you wasted all these years trying to be the pastor of a huge church?” Funny question.
I’ve been through an interesting journey as a pastor over the last 25 years. I’ve gone from seeking to pastor a very large church for all kinds of reasons – some reasons altruistic, other reasons all about me and my significance – only to be deeply disappointed that I just couldn’t pull off the big church. I’ve also arrived at a season of a kind of accepting acquiescence that I happened to be pastoring a smaller sized church – the sense that a small church is good although not necessarily awesome. But you know what? I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that a small church isn’t just good, a small church can be great and I’m really excited about leading my small church here in Santa Cruz.
Consider Malcolm Gladwell’s brilliant insights in his latest book “David & Goliath”
Giants aren’t what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness. And the fact of being an underdog can change people in ways that we often fail to appreciate; it can open doors and create opportunities and educate and enlighten and make possible what might otherwise have seemed unthinkable . . . We spend a lot of time thinking about the ways that prestige and resources and belonging to elite institutions make us better off. We don’t spend enough time thinking about the ways in which those kinds of material advantages limit our options.
Share this with any of your pastor friends who happen to pastor great small churches.