Pastors want bigger churches.
Church members? Not so much.
Sure, a lot of people go to big churches. That’s what makes them big, after all. And the majority of them are strong, healthy churches doing great ministry. But if you ask the average member why they attend, “because it’s big” won’t even crack the top 10.
And non-attenders? Quite frankly, the default is to distrust any church they deem as “too big.”
Is that too simplistic a way of viewing the church? Of course. Every one of us can point to many exceptions to each of those rules. But those exceptions are…exceptional.
What Does a Better Church Experience Look Like?
It’s only pastors who say, “You know what the problem is with that church? It’s not big enough.”
When people go to a church, or when unchurched people think about going to church (if they ever do), they’re not looking for a bigger experience, they’re looking for a better experience.
That better experience can happen in a church of any size or style. Small, big or mega. Traditional, contemporary or hipster. Denominational or nondenominational.
The categories church people use—even fight about—are not just a non-issue to the world around us, but the fact that they matter at all to us is increasingly seen as one of the reasons we’ve become irrelevant in most of their lives.
What people really need, and increasingly say they want from their church experience, isn’t any of the things we’ve added to it—whether long-held traditions or new fads.
What people really want from the church are the characteristics the New Testament has always told us the church is supposed to be about.
The Evangelistic Attraction of a Better Church
People want to attend and serve at a church where they can experience being loved by the God who made them. They want to know why they exist. They want to be called to something greater than themselves.