A slogan on our church sign by the road proclaims that we are, “A Caring Christian Community.” It expresses our desire and hope for the kind of community we want to be. Yet the word “caring” begs to be filled out. I did some research and found three different quotes about caring:
- This one especially grabbed my attention. “Some people care too much; I think it’s called love”—Winnie the Pooh.
- Another reminds me of something my former spiritual director would say. “A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there’s a caring, sharing person inside”—Denis Waitley.
- Yet another is especially appropriate for smaller churches. “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world, for, indeed, that’s all who ever have”—Margaret Mead.
In what ways are we caring and how is that put into action? Pastor and small church advocate David Ray says there are good reasons why smaller churches are the right size to be caring communities. People come to small churches because they want to be with others rather than to worship in isolation (The Indispensable Guide for Smaller Churches, 154).
Smaller churches can take time to care because we don’t need to be fully occupied with keeping the institution running, as is true in larger organizations. If the way we think about our ministry and the way we structure our church life are more relational, we as a people will be more relational. We then have a greater capacity to care for others and to meet the needs of people.