What do we believe about small?

There is a general consensus that a small setting/few people are better for connecting with each other and with God.  Almost all denominations have small groups.  Some denominations are just small 🙂 We have the house church movement. Small Christian communities can be found all over the world.  Most of the leavers of the organised part of church actively promote a smaller setting for coming together.  I am one of them.

But for some time I’ve been wondering, how far are we willing to take what we believe?  Let me explain.  If we believe in small personal settings for getting to know God, do we then also believe in the preciousness of the small everywhere?   Will we rather go to the small one-owner store than the mall?  All around us individuals are trying to make it on their own little space.  Will we be the ones who connect and support them?  Hairdresser, mechanic, bookshop etc.

The reason I ask is because, especially in business, there are large systems at work.  These systems do not really care about the small guy/gal.  (The church is not the only space around us who became a system.)  We live in these systems.  Are we going to get out of them as well, or is it only the church that bothers us?

What are your thoughts?

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7 thoughts on “What do we believe about small?

  1. Abmo, I’m convinced that I, at least, left the institution because of my own selfishness. Now I know it was much more than that but your question today kinda pin-pointed it for me. I don’t go to the smaller stores because of the fact that I love myself more than I want to love and support them. I would enjoy the smaller stores more, love the interaction with the owners and those who worked there more, loved the sense of community more, but I go to the box stores because the selfishness in my understands that I get to have more money that way (prices cheaper) and have much more of a selection – ergo – my selfishness. Hmmmm….I shall chew on this for a while today.

    • Hi Barb, you touch on something I hope to blog on one day. I too believe that a lot of leaving tooks place because of selfishness. These days, we usually do stuff, because it “suits” us. That’s why I ask the question about the small. If it suited us to leave one system, why did we not leave other systems as well? Christianity always costs. If it doesn’t, we are bluffing ourselves. Are we willing to spend a few extra dollars for the small? I think it is time to ask leavers what we really believe.

  2. This brought back memories of my time in Rome earlier this year. We had stayed in the Monti district, an area near the Colloseum filled with small family shops and cafes. I loved being able to see the same faces every day (especially at my favorite Cafe, and Gelato Bar) and they seemed to be appreciative and never in a hurry to get you out the door (in the good sense). Towards the end of the week, I went into get a Gelato, pulled out my wallet before ordering and discovered I was a Euro short. I told the owner I need to get some cash and I’ll be back, but he told me ‘no, it’s ok. You pay me next time.” That was certainly something I’ve rarely heard, especially not before you’ve even placed your order! It certainly seemed to me like small was better, definitely more human.

    • Hi Rick,
      yes, there is something more human about it. I’m lucky in the sense that I live in a smallish town. Recently a mall opened and it is wonderful. All the shops and stuff. But a lot of our small businesses are suffering because of it. Some are closing down. I walk past them and it hurts. My thoughts keep on returning that this business was somebody’s dreams and if I know the person, well then it’s Fred or Mary’s dreams that died here.

  3. Hi Lief 🙂

    Okay, I’ll continue in English now…
    I think a lot of people left the big institutions because they lost their individuality in it, they dissapeared as people and even where they were able to contribute to the big institution they rarely got to touching each others spirit. We wanted to connect to people, not to a big building with a huge crowd. That is the story about the church.

    Shopping on the other hand is something different. It is not really about connecting, it’s more about getting what you need and getting out of there (okay, I’m not a “normal” woman in this sense – lucky you!). I prefer to dissapear when shopping, but it actually is easier to quickly find what I need in the small cornershop than in the huge mall. On the other hand, the “huge mall” in our “smallish” town is a place to meet people. We often run into friends we haven’t seen in a long time in the mall, only thing is, its on the run – no real time for connecting.

    It seems to me we only managed to slow down and simplify the “spiritual” part of our lives. The rest is still running along at the same hectic pace. Oh boy, what a question!!

  4. Aren’t you thankful that our “selfishness” didn’t stop Him from receiving us, come on, for those who lived with the fear of eternal fire and torment, we chose Him vs the rotisserie~ha!

    To me its the same, shopping, I can be in a big or small store, people are people, and often it is simply me becoming aware of them needing what I need, a knowing I AM LOVED!

    Also, for some of us “leaving the system” was His doing, at least it was for me, not saying there was no selfishness there, simply knowing there was something so much more out there!
    Mostly it was discovering I really didn’t know who I really was after being gloriously SAVED!

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