Home Pastors Articles for Pastors The World Isn’t Looking for a Bigger Church, They Want a Better...

The World Isn’t Looking for a Bigger Church, They Want a Better Church

church experience

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.

Previous articleSermons Don’t Make Disciples
Next article7 Guideposts To Lead Yourself Well
Karl is the author of four books and has been in pastoral ministry for almost 40 years. He is the teaching pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, a healthy small church in Orange County, California, where he has ministered for over 27 years with his wife, Shelley. Karl’s heart is to help pastors of small churches find the resources to lead well and to capitalize on the unique advantages that come with pastoring a small church. Karl produces resources for Helping Small Churches Thrive at KarlVaters.com, and has created S.P.A.R.K. Online (Small-Church Pastors Adapt & Recover Kit), which is updated regularly with new resources to help small churches deal with issues related to the COVID-19 crisis and aftermath.