Friday, October 1, 2010

Small churches vs. big churches

For the last few years my wife and I have been attending a small church with no more than 200 members. I've been a big advocate of small churches for a quite a while.  I find it so easy for people (especially introverts) to get lost in big churches and sometimes I get concerned that people choose big churches because they wish to stay anonymous. I understand that desire and anonymity may be a good thing when checking out a new church, but only for a little while.  In the Christian life we celebrate that we are known and loved, and I believe our experience in Christian community should reflect that.  In small churches you can bump up against the same people week after week and that familiarity can spur friendship. 

For reasons other than temperament, we have recently moved to a fairly big church, of about 1400 members.  That's big for Presbyterians anyway.  And I have to say it's quite a breath of fresh air.  It's nice to attend a worship service and not feel so conspicuous.  Plus, there are so many resources at a big church and I feel like I have the freedom to choose what activities will really be good for me and enable me to give to others according to my interests and gifts.  While I appreciated the slower pace and fewer programs of the small church, I felt a little hemmed in when it came to choosing how to participate.  

So what about you?  Do you attend a small church or large church, and which do you prefer?