Karl Vaters wrote a great little book that I should probably read. It’s called ‘The Grasshopper Myth’. He makes an interesting premise about how we view ourselves.
90% of the churches in the world have less than 200 people.
What if that's not a bad thing? What if smallness is an advantage God wants us to use, not a problem to fix?
In The Grasshopper Myth, Karl Vaters takes on some of the unbiblical beliefs we've held about church growth, church size and God's will for the last several decades. Then he offers a game plan for a New Small Church.
The title comes from the story in Numbers 13. When the Hebrews were at the edge of the Promised Land, ten of the twelve spies come back with this report: "All the people we saw there are of great size. ...We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them." - Numbers 13:32-33
The grasshopper myth is the false impression that our Small Church ministry is less than what God says it is because we compare ourselves with others.
The solution is for Small Churches to see themselves the way God sees them. A church of innovation, not stagnation. A church that leads instead of following. A church that thinks small, but never engages in small thinking.[i]
Maybe you feel that your church is in the wrong building, the wrong neighbourhood, has the wrong pastor, the wrong congregation, not enough money, etc., etc., etc. You may think that you are in the wrong place as a church. That can be good to start a healthy struggle. Divine discontent can lead us to change toward godliness and contentment.
Could it be that our perception of being in the wrong place is skewed? Is it the wrong people and the wrong places that actually become God’s workshop in our lives?
I would propose that a person responsive to the Spirit’s call is generally in the wrong place at the right time. If we understand our times, we will know that God wants to do new and wonderful things in all the wrong places.