Big versus small churches has recently made headlines because of the comment made by Pastor Andy Stanley, son of Dr. Charles Stanley. Both pastor mega-churches. The comment the son made about people who attend small churches being "selfish" because big churches have more to offer children and youth, incited the ire of pastors and churchgoers all across the nation. Not only was it a ridiculous statement but it completely misses the context of a biblical church. I have been involved in both small and larger churches. While it is true that larger churches have more to offer its members, is that why we have churches? Should people go to church because of what they can get from it? It is not size that determines the effectiveness of a local church. The model for a church ministry is provided in the Book of Acts, and it is not contained within the walls of a building, but is determined more by how much a local congregation is interacting with the community and godless culture. It is measured by how many people are just sitting in the pews and soaking up the message once a week, then doing nothing, as opposed to those who are impacting the culture with righteousness and biblical truth. In the Book of Acts we see the disciples out and about. They weren't just sitting in church, but were engaging the culture in conversation. They were taking bold stands for their faith and doing such powerful and dramatic things through the power of the Holy Spirt that people were "greatly disturbed" (Acts 4:12) and "had nothing to say in reply"(4:14). The Church of Acts times was so bold, audacious, and confident, with so many great things happening, that "people from the cities were coming together, bringing people who were sick, or afflicted with unclean spirits...(5:16) and there "was much rejoicing in that city"(8:18). "The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the Word of God"(13:44). When is the last time, whether your church is large or small, that a whole town turned out to hear a sermon? Talk about church growth! "Multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number"(5:14) and "many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand"(4:4). So, the body of believers grew from just 12 disciples to thousands in a very short span of time. So, if Andy Stanley really wants to know what makes a church effective, he ought to read the Book of Acts. I, for one, am not nearly as impressed with how big a church is, as I am with what that church is doing outside its walls within the community and culture. How effective is your church? Maybe it is large but not doing much to reach the culture. Or perhaps it is very small but making a huge impact with the non-believing world. Are your members just sitting and soaking, or are they sending themselves into the godless culture? The average local church in America is very small, but many of them are maintaining a spiritual light in their communities.