Andy Stanley and Small Churches

This week’s Ministry Briefing takes a look at recent comments by Andy Stanley:

After Andy Stanley shared in a sermon that those who attend small churches are selfish, he has since shared in an interview that he regrets how five minutes have undermined what he has worked hard to do all of this life. Stanley shared that he supports those in small churches, and he intended to challenge his listeners to prioritize reaching out to their kids rather than maintaining their own comfort.

Source: Christianity Today

Why does this matter for church leaders?

Our children are the future of the church, and Andy Stanley’s clarification is important to consider about making a place for them.

  • Churches of all sizes are required: Andy Stanley rightfully apologized for criticizing smaller churches and saying that those who attend them are selfish.
  • Who is comfortable at church? In his clarification, Stanley shared that his church prioritizes ministry to children and making sure they feel welcome and included.
  • Churches that span generations: What does it look like to have a multi-generational ministry? Are there certain groups that need to give up control in order to make this a reality?

How can your church make the next generation a higher priority, even, if necessary, at the expense of the older generation’s comfort?

Bonus thought: Stanley notes that a five minute video clip from a sermon aimed at his congregation has now tainted the work that he has done with churches for the last few decades. This is worth considering when planning out our next sermon. How often do we say something that we pray doesn’t go viral? How does this affect the grace that we should show towards those that say something we don’t agree with?


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About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.