Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church

The reason why the Belgian Free Christadelphians made an opening to thoughts of others is explained in Personal thoughts, communication, establishing ecclesia and guest writings. We can not go beyond the fact that the Christadelphian community has problems getting enough people coming to their ecclesiae. In Belgium, which you also could call a A-religious country, we have lots of problems getting people come to listen to us or visiting our services. This last element might also very difficult because we do not have a meeting place of our own.

worship
Crowded evangelical churches

In the North of America there may be regions, like the Bible Belt, where the church may look very much alive. Though when we hear what is going on in those places, hear about the amount of abortions and human killings we must wonder what sort of Christianism is being preached over there. Lots of Americans may be proud that in their country there are a lot of people that attend church. In Belgium we also see on television lots of communities having large churches.

This seems to be a trend in much of the evangelical churches of today for many people. … I can look around my hometown and see several large churches that have a big attendance. {Missed Opportunities}

Kevin Jandt in the Summer of 2015 attended a home-school conference and the conference was held at a church facility that was quite incredible.

They had a very large auditorium, they had a sprawling campus, they had nearly every program that one could imagine to appeal to nearly every segment of every possible audience. I mean they had it all. Youth facilities, that looked to have a rockin’ band, multiple languages, cafe, coffee shop, book store, gymnasium, and on and on, even a jungle room for the tots. If you wanted something for your family and you wanted to go to church this would be the place. {Missed Opportunities}

Just to say they had everything what we do not have and to be honest do not dare to dream of. (The reasons why shall be explained later.)

26 december 2010
Marcus Ampe

Brother Marcus Ampe agrees he misses the joy, singing and dancing he had in the past when he was a Baptist. The churches and meetings he attended where packed houses and when they went to hear other preachers, like once Billy Graham he could see a London sports-stadium packed to the last standing room.  In our Christadelphian community we only may dream of such situations.

On the 10th of October 2015, ca. 450 Christadelphians could find each-other meeting at Dudley college to discuss the small numbers of our community which seem to loose more people by their departing the world of the living, than gaining new converts. Being well aware that we never shall offer the life-entertainment around human traditions nor the pagan feasts which can be found celebrated at such mega churches. For us no Halloween or other pagan festivities. For us also no praising of saints and other people, but sincere worship of the Only One True God, avoiding any song which could give any confusion about who it is or placing an other person in the position of God, like Jesus.

Many at such huge American churches do think smaller churches cannot provide good bible classes for the children, but we can assure them there is not at all any restriction for smaller churches to provide such Sunday Schools or Bible class for the kids when the adult service is going on.

Nick, the writer of “the Fire within my bones” also wants to add

that no matter how big the church is, the passion and drive it has for God and his people in obedience will ultimately be the deciding factor in where that church goes and what it does, not necessarily its size. {3 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Small Church}

Too many people do forget what it is all about. It is not just a matter of coming together to make good fun. It should all be about bringing praise to God and to feel togetherness in the worship of the Only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

God’s intent concerning discipleship requires intimate fellowship with one another. It requires humble confession, sacrifice of time and money, and sincerity of heart. In many mega churches today it is easy to fall through the cracks of discipleship. It is not that larger churches don’t want to disciple but that due to the sheer volume of people it is impossible to keep up. All the life group leaders in the world can’t account for every member that comes into a mega church on a regular basis. {3 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Small Church}

According to us a church or ecclesia should be the result of people willing to follow Jesus Christ and to share in unity as brothers and sisters in Christ the love of Christ. Not the organisation or the church-leader should be the one to look up at or to be honoured, but thankfulness to Jesus’ grace offering should fill the house with a spirit of appreciation for the work Jesus did and for the acceptance of his ransom offering by his heavenly Father, the only One God Who is One.

At the gathering all should present themselves as disciples of Christ Jesus and be willing to accept his sayings and to follow up his teachings.

The fact is that discipleship was never meant to be a program at the church; it is the very point that the church exists. {3 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Small Church}

Some might think such discipleship can not bring growth in a small church, but they overlook that just in a small church it is much easier to give good Bible study and to encourage each other in this Bible research.

Nick noticed that with mega churches more and more  there is a growing trend of a CEO mentality.

Again, due to the volume of people and the number of problems they present on a daily basis it is impossible for the head pastor to have a relationship with every church member. {3 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Small Church}

He writes

Now, does everyone at my 150 member church have a close relationship with the head pastor? No, but I would say that he has a close relationship with many of them and is at least acquainted with everyone who comes on a regular basis. I love my pastor, not because he is a good speaker, but because he is a good man who loves God and is committed to God’s people. Because there are few people who live life with their leadership it is impossible to fully trust and know them. {3 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Small Church}

M&M's Pictures 015
Ecclesia meeting at the Quaker Centre in Paris

In our small ecclesiae bringing people together in living rooms, private and public houses, congress rooms, conference rooms, but also some being lucky to have their own church hall, each individual is not just a number in the big space, but a real noticeable living person to whom every one wants to have contact with. In our ecclesia every one present shall have the opportunity to participate in the worship service and shall get the opportunity to say something to the rest of the meeting. This is impossible at a gathering in a huge church or in an arena.

As a tiny community we do have to work with the means we have. Not being dependent on an umbrella body, we can not count on funding by an international organising committee.  As a small religious community we do have to make do with what we have and have to rely on our members to help with ministry needs.

One may call this a hindrance (not being able to afford more staff) but I call it a blessing. {3 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Small Church}

remarks Nick.

This forces ordinary men and women to help, which in turn, rolls the gears of spiritual maturity in their hearts. The goal of church is not to have it look really pretty or be really exciting. The goal is to mature spiritually. I think education and training is a great thing but you do not need a M. Div. to preach a sermon. {3 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Small Church}

Bringing people together in a small community makes them to feel each other much closer and better. Together they also have more control over what happens by each individual and can come to help where needed much faster. Studying the Bible together in such small groups they all can have a word and express their feelings and their belief, encouraging each other much more than in bigger groups.

As already told in other writings on this and our other Christadelphian sites, we do not need doctors in theology to preach about God and to bring people to God. Jesus is the Way and it is God Who calls people. We all are just instruments in the Work of God. God does not entrust the preaching of His word to those who hold tightly to a degree but to those who hold tightly to His Word and His truth, not to the so called truth of human doctrines!

Some of the greatest men of God never took a college class. {3 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Small Church}

Today most people are so busy “to earn their living”, forgetting it is much more important “to earn life” and that it would be much better if they would look for the real values in life.

Already long ago in Christendom false teachings and human dogmas lured people away from the Biblical truth. As in the beginning of Christianity we do have to make work to get people to know and believe in the Messiah and to bring them on the right path to God. We may not let us be frustrated so much it pulls us down and in the black hole of perdition, but should get inspired by Jesus his example, going out in the world, spreading the Word of God about the Kingdom of God.

Though with all our good intentions we also

need people to wonder where we have been if we have been absent from church for a few Sundays. We need people to come visit us during hard times. We need people to intercede for us in our time of need and plenty. We need spiritual authority over our lives to guide us toward righteousness. We need accountability. We need encouragement. We need someone to realize our potential. These are things that can, if allowed, slip through our well meaning fingers.  {3 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Small Church}

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Preceding articles:

Religious Practices around the world

Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant

Ecclesia to exist, grow and communities to have people communicating with each other

The Ecclesia in the churchsystem

Reasons to come together

The Big Conversation

The Big Conversation follow up

Engaging the culture without losing the gospel

Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism

Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church

Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation

Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building

Belgian Christadelphians 2013 & 2014 in review

Personal thoughts, communication, establishing ecclesia and guest writings

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Additional reading:

  1. People are turning their back on Christianity
  2. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  3. A call easy to understand
  4. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  5. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  6. The meek one riding on an ass
  7. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  8. Fellowship
  9. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  10. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  11. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  12. To find ways of Godly understanding
  13. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  14. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  15. Will Islam conquer Europe
  16. Christianity to be enshrined
  17. Who are the honest ones?
  18. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  19. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  20. Newsweek asks: How ignorant are you?
  21. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  22. Some christians do have problems with the Christian connection with Jews
  23. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
  24. Determine the drive
  25. Try driving forward instead of backwards

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Other articles of interest:

  1. Walking in Total Dependence Upon God
  2. What is God’s Will For Your Life?
  3. On the Affirmation of Scripture
  4. A Snapshot of the Church in America
  5. a little church
  6. Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond
  7. If It’s All About Relationship…
  8. What’s in It for Me?
  9. Deacon Selection In the Small Church
  10. Lord’s Day 10: God is in Control
  11. Just Try a Few Things
  12. “When Faith Goes, All Good Things Go”
  13. Growing Deep
  14. All the Wrong Reasons
  15. Little Church
  16. Leading Change
  17. Small Groups & Grow A Small Church by Multiplying Its Small Groups
  18. Living well
  19. Blessed by His Hand
  20. Encouragement for the Small
  21. How Did You Get Here?
  22. How to Impersonate a Big Church
  23. What Do You Do Well?
  24. Recognize the Facts
  25. What are your top two struggles?
  26. The Best Thing You Can Do
  27. On the road to sainthood and not silent about it
  28. Incognito Zone: Where the Church Is Booming
  29. House Church Reaches Out to Atheists, Agnostics in California
  30. The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest

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