Can You Be Both a Micro Church and a Large Church at the Same Time?

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Rethinking the downward structure of church in a global pandemic.

Can a church be both a micro church and a large church at the same time? If a few years ago you were to ask Tony and Felicity Dale, or read Felicity’s book Simply Church, or Neil Cole, author of Organic Church, or Wolfgang Simson and his book Houses that Change the World, they would’ve probably answered no.

However, while they’re all micro church advocates, they would probably acknowledge that the gravitational pull is still toward the large church.

Years ago, I facilitated a gathering of both megachurches and micro churches in Austin, Texas. Felicity Dale made it clear to everyone, “I’m not in competition.” Hill Country Bible Church, a local megachurch in Austin, was represented by its senior pastor, Tim Hawks. Tim and Felicity were really engaging as they dialogued. Felicity admitted (my paraphrase), “Our singing is really bad. There are 15 of us gathering in a room and we’re really passionate about this, but then when I go to Tim’s church it’s like literally being transported to heaven. The band’s playing and people are really singing.”

Reflecting back, the merit of their interaction and the dynamics of their conversation raises an intriguing question that could unlock a great potential for the future of the church: Can micro and large coexist?

The rest of this article explores what used to be a dichotomized way of thinking about micro and mega, and the opportunity now—largely due to the pandemic—for bringing these church expressions closer together.

Downward Pressure and the Micro Church

Over the years, I’ve talked about what frustrates some of my micro (house, simple, and organic) church friends. There are 34 Western industrialized democracies …

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