Small and Mighty


The size of a congregation makes no difference when it comes to offering meaningful worship, this according to a study by the U.S. Congregational Life Survey. Bigger churches might have larger choirs and more flash — but great worship takes places in congregations of all sizes. In fact, in smaller congregations fewer people reported feeling boredom or frustration during the service, and small congregations were more likely to offer worship services that help people with their everyday lives.

In this USCL survey, small is defined as those that average fewer than 100 people in worship. One of the surprising findings was how well those small congregations are doing, despite their financial struggles and worry about the future.

“In a small church, it’s much easier to get to know one another, to really feel you connect,” Deborah Bruce, co-author of the project said. Smaller churches need to learn that they “don’t need to focus on what’s going on in these megachurches to do effective ministry.”

People in small congregations were more likely to feel a sense of belonging than people in mid-sized or big congregations. Small congregations are places where the connections are stronger.

Being a small congregation can be a strength: people come to know one another and to really care.
Find out how your church measures on a myriad of measures by engaging with Mustard Seed Consulting in a congregation-wide online assessment. Contact us today.



Author: mustardseedonline10

Kurt Jacobson is a trained interpretive consultant of Holy Cow! assessments serving churches across WI and beyond. An ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, he served Trinity Lutheran Church, Eau Claire for 28 years. In 2016 he formed Mustard Seed Consulting. Jacobson holds a BA in Business/Hospital Administra on and Organiza onal Communication from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN and a Masters of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN. He holds a certificate in Intentional Interim Ministry from the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors. He is the author of “Welcoming Grace: Words of Love for All.” In addition, the book “The State of the ELCA” by Russell Crabtree, founder of Holy Cow! includes a chapter detailing the work Kurt did in making Trinity a transformational congregation. He lives near Cumberland, WI.

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