I had a man tell me once, in a church where I was serving as interim pastor, “Son, we don’t need no fancy ideas around here. We like being a small church.” I soon learned he represented the feelings of the church as a whole. They were satisfied with not growing or reaching new people. I didn’t last there long.
There’s nothing wrong with being a small church. In fact, in some communities, what’s considered small is actually large by comparison to churches in larger cities. I’m not opposed to small churches or organizations, but I do have a problem with a small mentality. Until the last person is saved, the church has much work to do and we must keep getting bigger. Any organization, Christian or secular, that refuses to grow will eventually die.
Growing the organization is hard work. It’s easy to keep things small.
Here are a dozen ways a leader can keep an organization small:
- Keep people in the dark as to what’s happening
- Develop followers not leaders
- Squelch any dream except your own
- Refuse people a voice at the table
- Make sure everyone knows you’re in charge
- Be non-responsive
- Refuse to delegate
- Demand that it be done your way
- Resist change
- Have a million excuses ready when things go wrong
- Quit dreaming
- Resist any organized system, strategy or plans to grow the church.
What am I missing? What else will keep a church or organization small?