Typically a church is considered small if it is under 200 in attendance on a Sunday. I don’t know why, but there is something about the number 200. According to recent statistics somewhere between 65% – 85% of churches in the United States are under 200 in attendance. There are roughly 300,000 churches in the United States. That means there are between 195,000 – 255,000 churches with an attendance of 200 or less. That’s a lot of churches!
It’s almost like those churches aren’t small. I want to make the argument that churches under 200 aren’t small, they’re typical or normative or EVERYDAY. Here are three reasons I think Everyday Churches should reject the label of “small”
1) Everyday Churches are doing lots of ministry.
Everyday Churches do worship services, small groups, Sunday School classes, children’s ministry, youth ministry, plant churches, feed the poor, and do thousands of other ministries. The people of these churches build strong ties to one another. Everyday Churches minister and serve each other and their communities. What would happen if suddenly all of the churches under 200 in attendance were gone? Think about that for a second.
2) Everyday Churches are part of the big mission.
The Great Commission wasn’t given to large churches, megachurches, or gigachurches. The Great Commission was given to disciples of Jesus. That includes the big churches, but it also includes the Everyday Church too. They are part of Jesus’ mission in the world. Everyday Churches develop a complex they they are “less than” because they aren’t big. The fact of the matter is that they aren’t “less than” because they have the one who is “Greater Than” every name. We serve the same Lord we have the same mission.
3) Everyday Churches are mighty.
Think about how many people and how much money are potentially represented by Everyday Churches based on US Averages (I realize these numbers aren’t exact and there are factors in statistics that can skew them a bit, but this isn’t a research report, it is a blog post… calm down.)
- People: Let’s say that 65% of churches are under 200 in attendance, the smallest estimate out there. 65% of 300,000 churches = 195,000 churches. The average church size is 75. If you take those stats that means that there are 14,625,000 people who attend Everyday Churches. That is a lot of people! Let’s say the averages are skewed by large churches and take away 50%. That is still 7,312,500 people! That is a lot of people!
- Money: According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) the average household gives $1,703 annually to religious organizations. According to statista the average US Household is 2.53 people (I’ll spare you the, “how do you get .53 person joke”.) That means the average church has about 29 family units. Those 29 family units give about $49,000 annually. $49,000 Annually * 195,000 Churches = $9,555,000,000. That is a staggering number! Over $9.5 billion. Let’s say that number is skewed by large churches and other religious organization and take away 50%. THAT IS STILL $4,777,500,000 GIVEN INSIDE OF EVERYDAY CHURCHES.
By the numbers Everyday Churches are truly mighty.
Are big churches bad?
Definitely not. Please don’t hear me saying that big churches are bad or wrong. I think they are great! I’m thankful for big churches doing big things in ministry that Everyday Churches can’t do. I’m just saying that Everyday Churches have their place in ministry and mission AND they are MIGHTY. Everyday Churches Matter.
These are ideas that I share in my new book Proliferate, A Church Planting Strategy for Everyday Churches. It is available in both Kindle and Paperback formats at Amazon.