Over the years I have often heard about the virtues of small churches. On top of that, over the years I’ve experienced the virtues of small churches! I am deeply indebted in my faith to the small churches I’ve attended and helped lead as a pastor. Often, with appreciation for smaller congregations, megachurches get a bad rap in popular comparison. People say they are shallow, they are impersonal, they are shrines to consumerism, and so on, and so forth.
Most of you know I’m beginning a new part of my journey as the new Minister of Discipleship at Church of the Servant United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. Church of the Servant is a church of the mega variety. On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to meet with a group of nine people who gathered to reflect on a passage of scripture and collaborate on a Sunday School lesson for this coming Sunday. The discussion was riveting. I was blown away, and even given chills at some of the deep insights from this group. In one short hour, I saw nine contradictions to the assumption that megachurches create shallow, impersonal, consumeristic disciples. Instead, I met nine folks who I found to be deeply faithful, incredibly personable, sacrificially committed disciples.
Don’t get me wrong, I have met these same committed folks in small churches too. I just think it’s important to remind everyone that there isn’t a particular size of congregation that has a monopoly on producing faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Needless to say, I’ve had a great first week.