As a Christian one of the things you will hear a lot about is the importance of the church growing. If you go to your Christian bookstore or look on the internet you will find an overabundance of material on how to help your church grow. This is where you can also see debates sometimes from people who are a part of large congregations and those who are a part of smaller congregations. We can find those from smaller congregations saying, “People in those large congregations don’t know how to care for one another, it is just a big performance.” Then on the other side of the conversation you have those from larger congregations saying, “Those smaller congregations don’t care about their community or spreading the gospel, they just care about their little club not changing.” So where do we go from here?
No matter if our church is 20 people or 2,000 people we can still strive to be a healthy congregation. I am getting ready to finish up our final sermon this Sunday in our “Emotionally Healthy Church” series based on the book “The Emotionally Healthy Church” by Pete Scazzero and I think this is a crucial topic for us to address. In this post I hope you understand that I am not downplaying the importance of us as Christians needing to go out into our world and make disciples as Jesus has clearly given us this command, however what we also need to acknowledge that being a healthy church is just as important, if not more, than having a growing church. There can be churches that are 50 people or 5,000 people that are very unhealthy, or we can have churches with 30 people or 3,000 who are very healthy.
My point in saying all of this is to say don’t buy into the cliches that if you are a part of a small church that it means you are a failure, or if you are a part of a large congregation it means you are missing out on true connection. When we let the size of our church determine our identity or effectiveness we will either beat ourselves up because we don’t think we are good enough or we will become prideful because we think we are so great. However, as the church we need to look inside our lives and ask are we letting the Holy Spirit transform our hearts so that we are become more like Christ? Are we letting God mold and shape us down to our deepest being so that we can fully love God, others and ourselves? When we do these things we become a healthy church and when we are a healthy church we are God-honoring church.
My challenge for you today is to ask yourself what am I doing so that I can become more spiritually and emotionally healthy?