Thursday, September 22, 2005
Fair & Balanced for All You MegaChurch Haters: Americas Tiny Churches
I've taken much criticism here for posting things on large churches. Now, no one can say that I'm not somewhat balanced! :)
This from RoadsideAmerica.com:
"Tiny churches are adorable symbols of understated Christianity. For the small communities that built them, they are perfect for small weddings or quiet contemplation. For frazzled travelers, fending off road rage or interstate ennui, wee houses of worship poke up suddenly from the asphalt firmament like little miracles."
"Understated Christianity." Gotta love it.
See a list (and pictures) of America's smallest churches here.
Bernie's gotta love these churches! :)
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You wrote: "Bernie's gotta love these churches!"
You really misunderstand my stand about mega-churches. The option to a mega-church isn't a tiny church. It's a reasonably-sized church.
For example, I know a local church that is on the small side. They are planting other churches. I would like to see more articles about how to be a reasonable-sized church and do church plants... growing through MULTIPLICATION rather than through ADDITION as mega-churches do.
Just some suggestions... you're doing a fine job...
Posted by: Bernie Dehler | Sep 22, 2005 12:01:01 PM
Yeah, but come on Bernie... They're so CUTE!
Posted by: Peter Hamm | Sep 23, 2005 7:35:30 AM
Makes me wonder... who ever invented the steeple? Seems like it's a required part of a "church" building (looking at the photo's). I wonder what the apostles would have thought about this...
Posted by: bernie dehler | Sep 24, 2005 1:49:31 AM
I do not hate megachurches.
I would just like to see pastors and other ministers come to realization that size does not equal Godliness.
One person was told that he/she could not be a pastor. This person has become succesful and is preaching around the world and has a large empire. This person said that proves them wrong.
Wether "they" were right or wrong is not proven by selling lots of tapes, or filling auditoriams.
I would just like for my High D Pastor to realize that growth and Godliness is not synonomus. My Bible records that in some areas the Godly are persecuted even when they are doing what God wants.
I would also like to see chruch adds for pastors sayuibg they wany "Godly" men instead of "insert popular movement" men.
Posted by: Franklin Reeves | Sep 24, 2005 9:09:09 AM
You asked about the steeples and who invented them. I'm not 100% on this but from what I understand, as churches were built "way back when" in towns and cities, the steeple was put waaaayyyy up in the air so that travelers could find the church when they came to town.
They would see the steeple from the outside of town (above the trees), and navigate to the church by using the steeple as a landmark. At the church, they could find assistance for whatever they needed. Remember, churches were the shelters, welfare and benevolance "agencies" of society before welfare, the Salvation Army, etc... came along.
As time went on, and maps became better, we got more technology, the size of the steeple became smaller because it was no longer needed for that purpose. The older churches, even built in the early 1900's still have the large steeples, but more modern buildings have either smaller steeples simply to identify the building as a church, or they have no steeple at all becasue the "modern" church movement doesn't want the church to look like a church.
So, as I understand it, the steeple was "invented" to identify the location of the church in town to travelers who were passing through.
Posted by: David S | Sep 26, 2005 12:09:43 PM
I've asked in the past, and I'll ask again, in response to your opening paragraph - it would be nice to have more articles for pastors of smaller churches.
I do appreciate the ministry you provide here, but most of the articles are aimed at pastors with unlimited resources (so to speak...) and people to take on the tasks that are discussed.
Those of us who pastor churches of 30, 50, 100 in small towns with an unchanging population base would greatly benefit from hearing from other pastors in the same situations about how they meet their challenges with only a handful of people.
Just another thought, again....
Posted by: David S | Sep 26, 2005 12:17:31 PM
I read once that steeples were put on churches to remind us that the closer we get to God there is less of us and more of Him.
Posted by: kd | Sep 26, 2005 1:08:02 PM
There are pluses to both, large and small churches. I've been part of all sizes. My preference is the middle ground. About 300 people. Right now God has brought us to a small work of about 80. We are doing the worship and helping get other areas going. During Sunday school we often hear negative remarks from the teacher about large churches. Most are totally wrong and there almost seems to be a false pride in being small. I know some of this is from spriritual immaturity. I find a large church is a good way to hide and not feel guilty because you are still going to church. I believe church is as much about relationship as it is about being fed. So you need to belong to some smaller groups within the church for relationship. So within the large church their are many smaller churches. It's different strokes for different folks. As long as you are getting fed and growing, in relationship and fulfilling the will of God in your life - making disciples, stay where you are, you've found the right church for you - size doesn't matter!
Posted by: sd | Sep 26, 2005 9:28:22 PM
"I would just like to see pastors and other ministers come to realization that size does not equal Godliness."
Sounds like this (revolutionary) book I'm reading:
"The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church"
Posted by: Bernie Dehler | Sep 27, 2005 2:17:08 AM
Hmmm. Where will all the megachurches be if the United States started persecuting Chrstians? A friend of mine came back from China where the "house church" movement is really growing strong. The average congregation just fits a small apartment living room and yet there are more Christians in China than Communist Party members. Do you know what they are praying for? Persecution of the church in the United States. Why? So we can really go on mission and get rid of all our fat and dependence upon the secular for signs of success.
Just my thoughts.
Posted by: Dan Moore | Sep 27, 2005 11:13:59 AM
Just to say thank you Dan for that word. I was in definite need of it. I just started a bible teaching group, dare I say church, in my own home here in the US, and have already taken on much "grief" from it. although the Lord keeps me focused on him and not the thoughts of the world around me, it was nice to get a little extra assurance as well.
Posted by: Chris | Sep 27, 2005 1:38:13 PM
I, as well, would like to thank you for your comments. I completely agree. I truly believe that most, if not all the mega-churches would fold under true persecution, with only a handful of "survivors" left.
However, to be completely fair, I also believe many small churches would fold as well, with only a handful of "survivors" left, too.
Posted by: David S. | Sep 27, 2005 5:47:57 PM
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