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The Presbyterian Foundation has received a third grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. to allow the Foundation to make technology and training grants to pastors who serve small congregations and congregations of color in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
It seems that in today’s culture, the “bigger is better” philosophy is all around us. Supercenters, 75-inch flat-screen televisions and mega-sized smartphones have become the norm. The church is not immune to this growing trend (pun intended), as many communities are seeing the growth of the megachurch — churches with hundreds in worship, often across multiple campuses and varying service times. It is as if the larger the church membership becomes, the healthier the church is perceived to be, leaving smaller congregations often feeling inadequate. While megachurches may appear to be the new norm, statistics paint a different picture.
Leaders of small churches sometimes spend so much time looking back at how things used to be that they don’t appreciate the blessings and assets their church still has, says Olanda Carr Jr., Senior Ministry Relations Officer for the Presbyterian Foundation.
My husband and I had been married for three years when we had our first child. We learned quickly that even though we loved our daughter deeply, kids are disruptive and expensive. The change to our family meant learning to live on less sleep and smaller income. It meant figuring out who would do midnight feedings and make sure there were clean diapers. Once our daughter started crawling, it meant rearranging everything so that it wouldn’t be destroyed by a curious, free-range toddler.