Why You Must Think Small to Build a Big Ministry

Our weekend attendance at the church where I serve has grown to over 26,000 people.  On big days like Easter over 54,000 people will walk through our doors.  Those numbers are staggering to me at times.  I can't believe we get to impact that many people.

The truth is...we never sat down and said, "Let's reach 26,000 people every weekend."  In fact, if you had told me 8 years ago when I came here that we would grow that much, I would have questioned if it were possible.

So...how did it happen?  First and foremost, there is the God factor.  He grows His church.  He simply asks us to be faithful.  Which brings me to the heartbeat of this post.  He asks us to be faithful in the small things. 

Big things are founded and grounded in the small things done consistently well. (tweet this)
If you want to grow a big ministry, you have to think small.  If all you do is "go big," you'll never actually get there.

Focus on doing the small things well.  Zeroing in on the small things leads to big results.  So instead of being obsessed with big attendances, ask yourself questions like, "What's the smallest change we can make that will help make our ministry more effective?"  Small changes eventually lead to big results.  But you can't get the big results if you're not willing to focus on doing the small things well.

Focus on creating small environments that make people feel big.  Here's the deal.  The larger you get, the smaller you must become.  Great ministries are not built in a large worship center, they are built in small environments where people feel known, loved and cared for. 

The small things done well make the biggest impact.  Remembering a guest's name.  Placing a sticker on a diaper that says "I was changed."  Walking someone to their classroom instead of pointing them.  A small handwritten note to a volunteer.  Holding the door for a senior adult.  Staff parking in the worst spots so guests can have the best spots.

Small wait times in line.  The larger you grow, the more intentional you will have to be about people waiting in line.  Constantly watch how long people have to wait to drop off and pick-up their kicks.  Make adjustments.  Keep the lines small. 

Small classroom ratios.  Keep your classroom ratios small.  The larger you grow, the temptation will be to let them slip.  When you don't keep your classroom ratios small, kids will not feel loved and cared for and parents will be concerned, even if they don't tell you. Here are the ratios that we follow.

Small programming list.  The temptation as you begin growing is to fill up your ministry calendar with stuff.  Keep it small.  Add by subtraction.  Keep what you do to a small list of the essentials and do them well. 

Small habits.  People often only see the big results.  What they don't see are the small habits done consistently.  Day in and day out.  Week in and week out.  Year in and year out.  Decade in and decade out.  Small phone calls.  Small spiritual disciplines.  Small meetings.  Small successes.  Small jobs.  Big results are simply the fruit of small things done consistently well.

We have over 2,600 children's ministry volunteers.  How did that happen?  Week after week after week for 8 years we have been inviting people to join our team.  Inviting people to serve...one small invite at a time.  That small habit, done consistently for years, has helped us build a large volunteer team.
Don't be obsessed with reaching big goals.  Be obsessed with the small things that will take you to those big goals. (tweet this)
Small habits is the road that will take you to big results.  Remember what Jesus said?

"If you are faithful in little things, 
you will be faithful in large ones." 
Luke 16:10

Small confidence in yourself.  As your ministry grows, you will be tempted to think it's because of you.  Don't.  Stay on your face before God.  Let your confidence be in Him.  Thinking small about yourself will keep you thinking big about God.  Godfidence is what you must have.  Confidence in God's ability instead of your own.

Think small and leave the big results up to God.