How do you view different churches? Do you see some as being “better” than others?
Each year there is a list published of the “Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches” by Len Wilson. I confess. I like looking at this list. I like seeing what their stories have in common, and you will see a number of similarities.
It is easy to look at this list and come away saying these churches are better than the others. In some ways, maybe even in many ways, they are better in certain areas.
It does not take too long to take a conversation like this and turn it into a competition.
Are you able to celebrate what other churches are doing? Are you able to celebrate when they do certain things well? Maybe you see it as a competition.
Thankfully, it is not a competition. It is a mission we are all on together. Jesus calls us all on this journey to make disciples of all nations. There are thousands of people around most all of our churches who still do not fully know that God loves them.
Karl Vaters says this well in his article “Megachurches Can’t Reach the World for Jesus Alone.” He writes:
Less than one percent of churches in the world are megachurches, with about five percent of the total church attendance. Even when we add large-but-not-mega-churches to that number, it only adds up to ten percent of the world’s churches and fewer than half of the world’s Christians.
The rest of us attend the remaining 90 percent of churches. That may be one of the greatest, untapped secrets of the church today. Most of the churches in the world are small, but there are so many of us!
It’s time for the 90 percent to come alongside the 10 percent and get our hands dirty together.
All of us, all churches are needed. Yes, we may be at different stages of our journeys. There may be things other churches do better now than we do. However, instead of saying they are “winning” and feeling as though we are “losing”, let us work together. Let us learn from them, and let them learn from us. Let us help them, and let them help us along the way too.
God has sent us all on the mission to make disciples, and we need each other to do this.