CW: I write for small churches which are often not included as role models for others. Do you think that small churches can be missional and serve as legitimate missional models?
RMc: One of the things about the missional renaissance is that it makes the old pecking order based on size of attractional crowd really irrelevant to missional effectiveness. I work with congregations from weekly worship attendance of less than three dozen to churches running over 10,000. The issue is not the size of the crowd, but the impact on the community. “Small” attendance congregations have been beaten up for decades now in the old church growth scorecard. Getting out of that game can let them be winners in a missional measure. I think this is very hopeful for small congregations who really don’t want to consume all the energy to “grow” but to release their congregations to be missionaries.
This is not really a big church/small church issue, I don't think. There are faithful, healthy big churches and faithful, healthy small churches, just as there are unhealthy big churches and unhealthy small churches. The issue is whether size really matters. And maybe it does. But in the burgeoning "new order" of church growth, maintaining a small church no longer means failure.
HT: Les Puryear