While the mega-churches gain all the media attention, the little churches in America keep reaching, worshipping, and ministering to their congregations and communities. According to the National Congregations Study, 59% of all churches in the United States had an attendance of 99 or less on any given Sunday. Another 35% had between 100 and 499, which means 94% of all churches are not in the mega-church category.
When I consider the number of small churches, the Shakespeare quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, of which I take totally out of context, comes to mind, “And though she be but little, she is fierce.” (Act 3 Scene 2, page 13)
When David was a shepherd boy, he was sent to deliver food and supplies to his older brothers, who were serving in King Saul’s army. When David heard the giant, Goliath, poking fun at the Israelite’s God, he was offended. David proceeded to take on the giant one on one. Saul points out that David is a small boy and can’t fight the giant. Even Goliath says, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with a stick?” (1 Samuel 17:43 NLT)
As you may know, the little guy won that battle, and it vaulted David to be king.
A church may be small, but its influence in a community possesses the incredible strength of God. In this day and age of mega-churches, it’s easy to play a comparison game. Many small churches rule out viable ministries because they don’t consider themselves large enough to do the things other churches can do.
Let’s rethink the model.
Sports, recreation, and fitness ministries seem to find themselves in larger churches with larger ministerial staff pools to lead the efforts. Okay, I’ll grant that point. However, any church, planted in the community where God is working, can have an eternal significance with the people of that community.
In the book, Sports Ministry That Wins, contributing author Joe BW Smith, gives suggestions for smaller churches and how they can still influence their communities. He speaks of churches taking on unique paths to use the cultural enjoyment of sports as mechanisms for sharing Christ and His love. Smith not only gives excellent ideas, but he also crafts the ideas in keeping with the theology and traditions a small church may hold.
One of the visions I have for CSRM is to extend our influence into smaller churches. There we can work with ministry volunteers and offer consultation, resources, and prayer support for their efforts in using sports, recreation, and fitness ministries to reach their community.
Don’t let your size be of any issue in fulfilling God’s mission in your church and community. You will find Sports Ministry That Wins and other great resources in the CSRM store at https://csrm.z2systems.com/np/clients/csrm/giftstore.jsp
 (n.d.). Retrieved from http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/fastfacts/fast_facts.html
 (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sparknotes.com/nofear/shakespeare/msnd/page_108