Growing Up At Small Church
When I was a kid I went to a small, country church. Everyone should have a chance to grow up in a church like the one I did. Why? Because small church has so many things to offer that big church just can’t deliver. If that compelling reason wasn’t enough, then here are 5 more killer reasons you should leave your church with all the ministry coolness and opportunities you have there and find the smallest, most countriest church you can find. (that’s how we say “really country” in small churches) If not for you, do it for your kids so that they can have something to blog about when they get older. Jobs are going to be tough to come by in 2030 I hear.
4 killer reasons it’s better to grow up at a small church (do you say “killer” at big churches?):
1. Your parents always had someone lined up for you to marry.
You might as well be home-schooled if you go to a small, country church because the odds of you having the freedom to get to know a wide range of girls was slim to nothing. But no matter how many girls or people attended small church, it was always important to pay attention to who your parents hung out with because the chances of you being encouraged to marry one of their daughters was huge. When I say “encouraged,” I actually mean “pre-arranged” or “forced.” Was she cute? Doesn’t matter! Does she have all of her teeth? Stop being so picky! Dude, you’re getting married!
2. The “worship” music involved a voice tuner.
There was always a guy at the church I grew up at that would lead the singing. Before every song he would pull his little, silver tuner out of his pocket – blow into it to hear what the first note of the next song was – and then proceed to be terrible. He may have gotten the first note right, but the rest were awful. I wonder if there’s a way to blow into that thing before every note of the entire song? “How Great Thou Art” could’ve definitely been a little bit greater. Granted, it would have taken 19 minutes to finish the song, but it would have been worth it.
3. Every adult can discipline you.
Being young at small church can be tough. You are squirmy, immature, and it can be difficult to stay interested in a weekly exegesis through the book of Numbers. What was especially tough, though, was the agreement parents made behind your back to allow any adult who went to your church to have the right to discipline you. At a small church you have 87 parents. I remember being at potluck #1,043 and I was playing tag with a friend of mine. We were running out in the parking lot (this is part of the strategy of playing tag for those of you who don’t know because you went to a big church and didn’t have to entertain yourself by running in parking lots because you had an awesome playground) and some crazy, random lady opened the door and yelled at me for running. In the parking lot! Not the sanctuary. Not the hallways. Not past the lady who was obviously upset that my parents hadn’t hand-selected her daughter to be my wife. Ahh…those were the good old days! A part of me longs for those days when strangers would guide my fragile soul down the straight and narrow. (sigh)
If you go to a big church, I just feel sorry for you. How in the world are you going to have an all-church potluck every week with 2,000 people? What does your “fellowship” time look like at big church– a coffee shop in the book store? A cafeteria with a full menu of restaurant quality food? Ha! I laugh at your “fellowship!” Ok, that’s a lie. That’s what we have to say when we go to small church because we so badly want to have cool coffee like you. Dang it.
Come to think of it. Stay where you are. Your kids don’t want to go to small church after all. Especially if that one lady still goes there and is going to yell at you. For running. Outside! Geeesh!
Do you attend a small church or a megachurch?
For more great writing from Nate, check out his blog4men.