The Student Action Diversity Committee (SADC) will host “BIG CHURCH/small church: a conversation about church growth, evangelism, and church in the age of marketing” on Monday, January 14, 2007 at 7 p.m. in the Rochester College Auditorium.
The event is the third part of a 5-part series of interpersonal meetings developed by the Student Action Diversity Committee (SADC) called The House of God Sessions. Each event brings together five to six ministers from different denominations/viewpoints to have a candid discussion of issues important to the Body of Christ. The sessions are held before a live audience. This installment of the series will focus on questions about how churches should and should not grow, appropriate sizes, how evangelism is realized in larger and smaller churches, and whether it is appropriate for the church to market itself and Jesus as a product to be sold. The SADC has invited 6 Christian ministers from various area churches with memberships ranging from 15-20 people to 22,000+ people each Sunday. The first event discussed water baptism. The second event—a step away from the program’s normal format—featured 5 individuals who are not Christians who gave their impressions of Christians and Christian evangelism.
“I feel that larger churches have more checks and balances in place to assist in the overseeing and the proper usage of monies,” comments Evangelist Janice Hill (A Harvest of Souls Ministries) in response to a preliminary question sent out by the SADC about church size and accountability. “I also feel that you can be a small church and [be] dishonest with finances. It all goes back to character and integrity. In some small churches there are certain boards that tell the pastor what he can do or what he cannot do within the church. God has called pastors to lead the flock.” Hill attends Word of Faith International Christian Center, a mega-church in Southfield.
But, Rufus Harris, pastor of The Bridge Church in Pontiac expresses a few concerns. “It has been my experience that accountability is a secondary action—an afterthought—in larger churches. Can a church be too large? I think so, especially if people get lost in the shuffle or, if only the 99 matter and not the 1 lost, what’s the point? Harris pastors a church with only 10-12 regular attendees.
“We believe this is going to be a terrific conversation. There are people who attend large churches who can’t see the advantages of a smaller setting. There are people who attend a small church who think a larger church is too structured and impersonal. Hopefully, we’ll dispel some myths and get at the heart of the issue,” says Calvin Moore, student leader of the SADC.
Moore will serve as Interviewer for the event. Six panelists will have a preliminary discussion during the College’s daily assembly program at 11 a.m. and then answer a series of questions during the evening, starting at 7p.m. Guest speakers include:
· Pastor Loren Covarrubius (Mt. Zion, 6000 attendees)
· Minister Josh Graves (Rochester Church of Christ, 1200 attendees)
· Pastor Rufus Harris (The Bridge Church, 10-12 attendees)
· Evangelist Janice Hill (A Harvest of Souls Ministries/WOFICC 22,000+ attendees)
· Pastor Michael Hunter (The Bible Way Church, 15-20 attendees)
· Pastor Craig McGlassion (Paradox Church, 200 attendees)
The Student Action Diversity Committee is a student-led ministry of Rochester College that seeks to foster diversity in the areas of race relations, socio-economic differences, and differences across Christian tradition. For more information contact SADC at 248 218 2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.