Listen Live
Stone Soul 2024
Praise 104.7 Featured Video

Until recent years, the term “mega-church” was non-existent. Certainly, there were large churches in every city in America, some with hundreds of members. But the mega-church of today—defined by many as a worship center of any denomination with over 1000 members—is something new. Many mega-church members find themselves experiencing a full-fledged Sunday morning production, replete with stage lights and orchestras. The mega-church offers a grand, exciting event each week, and many believers find inspiration and strength in these large congregations. Mega-churches offer a visible “army of God’s soldiers,” and believers are encouraged and motivated by the great mass of fellow worshippers.

Still prevailing in communities, rural towns, and neighborhoods all over the country are “mini-churches,” those smaller bodies of believers which live on through their members’ faith and determination. Attending one of these churches can be a deeply moving, intimate experience, where no one cares about the quantity of parishioners in the pews, and all that matters is quality, substantive worship. Found in the smaller church is the very essence of authentic worship, which sustained and encouraged our parents and grandparents. The hymns, prayers and shouting of the saints still echo the triumph of the Civil Rights Movement, which was bolstered by the sheer conviction found in smaller congregations. Often, even today, these minute nucleuses of God’s children accomplish much within their communities, and help tie families together.

You may ask yourself: “Between the mega-church and the mini-church, how do I find MY church?” It depends on your own personal beliefs and preferences. Do you love the intimacy and quiet comfort of the smaller mini-church, where you may only encounter 15 other worshippers on any given Sunday? Do you love to hear a loud, large, lovely gospel choir singing God’s praises at the 8 AM service? Or maybe you prefer to learn of God’s grace along with, say, 2,000 other believers? Whatever your taste, gravitate towards a church that, before all things, promotes the love of Christ.

A friendly word of caution: Whether you prefer a mega-church or mini-church, if you’re only seeking to be entertained on Sunday mornings, you may find yourself constantly seeking out new churches, in an effort to stay engaged and energized by services. Avoid becoming a “church-hopper,” one who is always seeking what’s hot, what’s new, or what’s thrilling, but gives little thought to the actual basis of the excitement. Before you turn up your nose at either the mega-church or the mini-church, examine your own motives for going to church—you should find as the first of your reasons a yearning to worship God, and to serve your church and community. Choose to support and engage in your Christ-centered church, and it won’t matter the size of the congregation.

S. Willis is a native Virginian. She is the author of a children’s book, “The Little Adventures of Bella and DJ,” which will be released in May 2011 (visit to pre-order).