Does Size Really Matter?

I often here the phrase: ‘We are just a small … Church/youth group’ as if this means it is insignificant compared to others but is that really how things are or should be?

This Christmas I found myself looking at social media, minister envy snuck in for a moment as time and time again I read posts like:
‘400 Christingles prepared for the crib service’
‘Standing room only at tonight’s carols by candlelight’
‘So thankful to be home after so many people through the doors at today's 4 services’

With stacks of beautiful photos of the back of hundreds of heads, arms held high, the twinkle of fairy lights around super preachers and even the odd orchestral or two.

Meanwhile over here:
· 27 of us gathered on Christmas Eve in our small chapel at 12am, using worship and lyrics videos to sing in Jesus’ birthday.
· 31 of us on Christmas Day, had breakfast together, hunting for chocolate angles and singing carols on request.

I am not gonna lie I felt a bit disheartened.

See whether its for hundreds or 10 the planning, preparation and expectational energy is the same. 

And whilst we ALL know that church is not measured on numbers the reality is we can ALL get caught up in what a measure of success looks like.

Of course, God has given me a gentle nudge, the eyes peeping over the glasses kind of ‘Really Dunners?’ nudge that I needed. Reminding me that whilst some might see just a small church God sees the story differently: 

  • Over half those attending on Christmas Eve were under 20 and all of those involved in the service from AV to reader to preacher were female and 2 of those were 15 year olds who led a stunning reflection on grace. 
  • Over half those attending on Christmas morning were adults with additional needs and their careers and the service extended by 30 mins because we needed more singing but we didn’t know the correct words to them. 
Now I know some of you will read that and have push backs, an all female line up is not equality you might say. But when for so long an all male line up has been the norm, let us have this, just once!

And as for our inclusive congregation, yes it can be a bit loud/messy/unpredictable at times but I am sure this is a more realistic expression of the type of gathering Jesus spoke to, so perhaps it is simply what Church was always intended to be.

Mindful that Jesus says ‘For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them’ (Matt 18:20) and with ‘Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.’ (Col 3:16). Fabulous that you had 400 Christingles, praise the Lord, but over here we are a Small Just Church and that is equally brilliant. 


  1. Amen! Preach it Sister...

    Love that switch from 'just a small church' to ''a small just church' - very clever and very powerful.

  2. It truly was a love Christmas eve service xx


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