Insights to making a megachurch a smaller church

What size congregation is the church you attend? According to an article on Forbes.com published in 2009, you attend a megachurch if your church has a congregation of 2,000 or more attending each week. A further breakdown found at USAChurches.org indicates that if you attend a church with weekend attendance of 301 – 2,000 your church is large.

If you’re wondering why this matters, please keep reading.


There are many misconceptions about so-call megachurches: they only want your money, the preachers don’t care about me, I am just a number, no one really cares about me and my family, and the list goes on (including some that are really nasty and un-Christ-life).

Notice I call these misconceptions. By definition, I attend a megachurch in Knoxville, TN. To me, the church isn’t mega. To me the church is a great size for doing ministry. What makes it small to me is that I am involved in a couple of ministries, I attend a small group, I have made myself available to being used by God in my local church.

I was recently reminded of the importance of being available and known within the church in a meeting I attended.

If you attend a megachurch and do not serve anywhere, no one knows you’re there. Sure people will see you, even talk to you, but no one really knows you.

If you attend a megachurch and do not give, no one knows you’re there. Thanks to the IRS and charitable deductions, most churches keep excellent records of people that give. You receive a statement of your giving, so does the IRS. Plus, if you don’t give to your church, are you really committed to its mission (which should be God’s commission).

If you attend a megachurch and you are repeatedly asked if it’s your first time there, you do not attend regularly enough to be recognized by the first impressions team. The only variation to this is if you regularly attend one campus or one service and every so often you switch for scheduling reasons.

If you do serve within your church, but you never check in to your assignment, people will assume you’re checked out of the church.

When a person, or family, isn’t actively involved in a church, how can they be ministered to properly? In a small church pastors are expected to visit the sick in the hospital, do all the funeral and marriage ceremonies, and many other things that ultimately lead to burnout.

Let me tell you, if I were to be hospitalized anytime in my life, I DO NOT want to see the senior pastor from my church! Sounds funny doesn’t it? If I see my senior pastor walk through the door of my hospital room I know they are about to pull the plug.

Who do I expect to see? My family, of course. People from my small group especially, potentially small group leaders I coach, my mentors, people that know a lot about me. Keep my senior pastor away!

You see even though I attend a megachurch, my church is extremely small. I have people I do life with, I have people I serve with, I have people that minister to my family. Each of these are what makes my church small. Sure the building we gather to worship in is large, and there are multiple facilities throughout the surrounding area, the worship reminds you of a rock concert. But lives are being changed through the venue our church uses. My life was changed, my wife’s life was changed, together her and I are working to change the spiritual life of our family. We are connected.

So I ask you these questions:

  1. Do you serve within your church?

  2. Do you support the vision of your church financially?

  3. Are you often asked if you’re a first time visitor?

  4. If you serve, are you following the instructions for checking in to your assignment?

  5. How well would you consider you’re being ministered to?

  6. Are you connected? If not, what’s stopping you? If so, what has your experience been?

Leave me your answers below, your comments are welcomed also.

Photo Courtesy of Faith Promise Church's Facebook page.

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