In 1 Corinthians 2-3, we are told of three types of people. First, there are natural people, those who have not yet been born again, are not yet believers. Second, there are spiritual people, those walking with Christ, believers who are living in the light, seeking God. Third, there are “people of the flesh, infants in Christ,” those who are still carnal, not yet mature in Christ.
These last two designations, in much of the church-world, have come to serve as labels for much we do. “That’s carnal,” someone says. Another claims, “And that is spiritual.”
Over the years, I have come up against this attitude in church ministry work. I have observed that many people are convinced that small and meager churches are spiritual, while large and influential churches must be carnal. I pastor a church considered mid-size, but I think spiritual churches are spiritual, and carnal churches are carnal, and that size has nothing to do with it. The large church might pray, for instance, while the small church bickers. The large church might do outreach, for instance, while the small church focuses entirely on the inward reach. The large church might do things with excellence because they want to reach people, while the small church might do things poorly because they are lazy.
The converse is also true. Just because a church is small does not mean it is a failure of any kind. It may one day hear the “well done” of Christ, but it won’t be because it was small, it will be because it sought to honor Him in all they did. Let’s just not confuse size, in either direction, with spirituality.