Interestingly the Adventist Review has a discussion of very small “house” churches. Many leaders see this as more in line with the Biblical idea of church than what the church is doing today.
Brad Cecil argues that many churches today are “celebrating the idea that people show up and consume their sermons, songs, and ministries.” Cecil argues that consumption is not transformative. In contrast the smaller churches change people by building relationships.
Small Groups or Small Churches?
This is interesting to me in that many of these larger churches are agreeing that the larger church is less transformative because of a lack of relationships. Many of these churches are trying to institute “small groups” so that they can have a “small” component to their church and presumably touch more people on a deeper level. I have seen larger churches institute this kind of thing with varying degrees of success.
However this movement towards small groups begs the question, if being small is what is desired, why not just go small totally and split up these big churches into a number of smaller ones? Instead of attempting to manufacture smallness in a large church which is very difficult to do, why not just have small churches?
On another note, is this a problem of the “consumption” mentality that the article states is in many of the churches? Is a smaller church a check against this? Can the smaller church have the same mentality? Many questions…What do you think?