Are small churches selfish? #ourCOG Andy Stanley said it

Click to join the conversation with over 500,000 Pentecostal believers and scholars

Click to get our FREE MOBILE APP and stay connected



Are small churches selfish? #ourCOG

Andy Stanley said just last week: “Small churches are selfish! Churches of under 300 are not able to provide a full ministry to children and youth and are therefore inferior to big churches. We are selfish for continuing in our small church ministries.”

Corey Forsyth [03/04/2016 8:21 PM]
I actually think that is an arrogant statement. If there were nothing but megachurches, there would be LOADS of people out of church permanently. My parents will not step in the door of a church if they run 250 or more. They can’t relax enough to enjoy anything about the service

Timothy Nail [03/04/2016 8:22 PM]
A guy like Stanly who is extremely smart and well trained started at a different entry point than the rest of us. He was born into a mega ministry. He had the advantage of being up close and personal to one of the greatest pastors in America at one of the largest churches in America. He also started with more people than any of us pastor along with mega money and name recognition. As well as millions of people to draw from (as stated by the good pastor). He is kind of like Trump who boast of being such a business genius though he inherited more money than the net worths of all the other Presidential candidates combined. Talk about those selfish people who give sacrificially to keep doors open, or often clean the church and keep the yards. Those who with one or two children or every Sunday teaching them the Bible. I think people who go to large churches where they have nothing to do is selfish. Having worked in a mega church and having worked in a very small church I can say there are selfish people in both but people in large churches often feel superior to small churches when they have done nothing to make that church what it is.

Troy Day [03/04/2016 8:22 PM]
Stenley issued somewhat of a response on Twitter:

Timothy Nail [03/04/2016 8:23 PM]
From the abundance of the heart mouth speaks.

John Conger [03/04/2016 8:26 PM]
if the pastor doesnt even know your name or your struggles how can pastor?

Troy Day [03/04/2016 8:27 PM]
I actually know Andy and he’s a pretty good pastor. Believe it or not, he knows most of the names of his regularly attending members

Corey Forsyth [03/04/2016 8:29 PM]
I have always heard that, statistically, a pastor is only truly effective over 125 people without needing help. I couldn’t imagine handling as many as Andy…

John Ruffle [03/04/2016 8:53 PM]
Tell that (OP) to the upper room. End of story. – it would gave been if they’d had some of these FOOLS parading around back 2000 years ago.

Brian Roden [03/04/2016 8:54 PM]
There are pros and cons to large and small. I attend a church with three Sunday a.m. and one Saturday evening service on the main campus, with 5 daughter churches and one more coming in the fall (each with its own local pastor — administration/bookkeeping is centralized at the mother church). Our current pastor and our previous pastor (who is not a denomination official) have always emphasized health over size, and that the larger we grow, the smaller we need to grow. Meaning the more people attend, the more SS classes and other small groups we must have to keep people connected in community. No matter if the church runs 200 or 2000, any one individual is going to max out on meaningful relationships by 30 people or less.

Amanda Walker [03/04/2016 9:13 PM]
Small churches foster holistic and geniune community. They give the best environment to allow them to do ministry in the church. I think megachurches aren’t ideal. It fosters a sense of spectator sport type Christianity.

Troy Day [03/04/2016 9:25 PM]
The average baptist or pentecostal church in America today has 75-80 members

Troy Day [03/04/2016 9:39 PM]
US Catholics drops and Catholicism is losing members faster than any denomination

Stan Wayne [03/04/2016 10:11 PM]
Pastor plurality

Michael Marquez [03/04/2016 10:55 PM]
“Small churches are selfish! Churches of under 300 are not able to provide a full ministry to children and youth and are therefore inferior to big churches. We are selfish for continuing in our small church ministries.”

What Bible is Andy reading from? His teaching on this might come from 1st demons chapter 3 but not from the Word of God. First, the Church is not a building. The building is where the Church meets. Second, 3000 were saved and then 5000 but it does not say they built 1 big building for 3000 or 5000 or even 8000+ people. These numbers are just declaring how many were saved. Third, it is God who grows the size of the congregation. Many churches then we’re small and most were in homes. We can’t put God in a box and limit Him from building a 50 member or a 5000 member congregation. A small church is still part of the Bride of Christ for which He died for. Who gives Andy the right to judge and come against small churches which God uses? Talk about fighting against God. Wow.

Nathan Ridgeway [03/05/2016 1:42 AM]
If Andy Stanley actually said this, he knows so little about the Word of God and relationship with God. He is rather arrogant anyway.

Robert Cox [03/05/2016 1:49 AM]
He’s an idiot

Peter A Vandever [03/05/2016 2:02 AM]
Small churches are unbiblical!

Troy Day [03/05/2016 7:09 AM]
ha-ha-ha Peter A Vandever for the kill. What do we do with Luke 12:32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom? Another controversial post to make money on your blog Peter?

Maryjane Williams [03/05/2016 7:40 AM]
I guess he just threw out the window “Where 2 or 3 gathered together in my name”

Louise Cummings [03/05/2016 4:21 PM]
Just because Churches are small doesn’t make them selfish. Who said the largest crowd of Baptist and Church of God the largest was seventy or Eighty. Have you visited around lately. Especially farther than your back door. Besides God Moves Greatly in small Churches. Also large Churches. We are thankful where ever God Moves. If you have one or two. The Bible says if we have gathered In His Name. He’s in the midst. God is the Majority to be there. If you just have one and God is there.

Troy Day [03/07/2016 5:48 AM]
There was a lot to do in our small church when I was growing up

Louise Cummings [03/08/2016 12:03 AM]
It would be a lot to do in aBig Church too. If you would get involved and carry some of the load instead of walking in and enjoying what everyone else has worked for. Instead of trying to slide in on every one else work. Put your feet in their shoes for a day. You’ll find its work. I hope you make it in. In big or small Church.

Michael Marquez [03/08/2016 12:10 AM]
Good word Louise Cummings. We are supposed to help and serve one another in love. If small churches are so bad then the big churches should step in and help the needs of the small church instead of criticising them. But that most likely won’t happen. To many church leaders want to be served rather than serve. Help some one really? What’s in it for me? That the mentality. So sad.

Brian Roden [03/08/2016 9:58 AM]
One of the benefits to larger churches is that those who serve can do so in their giftings. Sometimes in a small church there is so much work to be done and so few people to do it that you may have an eye trying to be an ear or a hand trying to be a lung.

I’ve seen small churhes try to have all the programs and classes of a larger church. But they had so few qualified, mature believers who could teach classes and lead programs/ministries that each one was stretched incredibly thin. There were good things, that needed to be done, and the dedicated workers had a hard time saying no. They hadn’t learned that not every good opportunity is something that should be pursued, but can sometimes become a distraction from their primary work/calling. (This can affect dedicated, willing workers in large churches too.)

Louise Cummings [03/14/2016 2:00 PM]
Good comment. I didn’t mean it to come around in the wrong way about small churches. It is a lot todo in small churches. But what you do for the Lord In large or small churches. It makes you feel you are a part. I’ll agree in large churches it is mostly in giving. But they still have to have a team that knows just what to do. Mostly an appointed team. I’m thankful to see people in small or large churches serving the Lord. Rich or poor. We all have a place in the kingdom of. God if we live for Him.


  • David Lewayne Porter
    Reply June 16, 2016

    David Lewayne Porter

    I just don’t think small churches have find their giftings yet.
    They are mostly still growing personally and seeking.

    Maybe a (yielding to The Spirit) issue.

  • Jim Price
    Reply June 16, 2016

    Jim Price

    Small churches can and do offer great experiences in the the overall kingdom. Most N T churches were ” house churches ” but it takes a special wisdom and adaption to nurture this size flock and not to constantly fret about numbers. Grow where you are planted!

  • Mary Ellen Nissley
    Reply June 16, 2016

    Mary Ellen Nissley

    How arrogant and judgmental. Small churches might not have all the bells and whistles when it comes to programs… but programs aren’t what church is all about. You don’t need lots of programs to keep the youth. Separating the youth from their families during corporal worship only accentuates the idea that they wouldn’t like “real church.” As a child growing up in a very small church, I felt included and needed and loved by everyone there. And that sure beats programs, hands-down!

  • Michael Postlethwait
    Reply June 16, 2016

    Michael Postlethwait

    Andy backed from those comments by the very next week once he heard his message with his own ears. However, the point he was trying to make at the time is worth some consideration. Sometimes our desire for smallness can create an environment that is not conducive to growth. On the one hand, it is important for us as Christians not to automatically judge a church by its size one way or the other. At the same time, however, we must not allow our desire to be a big fish in a small pond so to speak limit our vision for the kingdom. I don’t condone what Andy said or the way he said it, however, I think some pastors are being a little naïve if they don’t recognize that a lot of churches are small for all the wrong reasons and people have a right to expect things done well. It is one thing if your church is small because your community is small or resistant to the gospel. It is another thing altogether if a church does not strive for the same excellence on Sunday that they give to their job during the week.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.