It’s called the Tiny Church Movement, and it’s taking the nation by storm. In Steinbach, Manitoba, area residents are abandoning the large megachurches in favour of something a little more intimate.
“We’re getting back to the basics,” says Janette Friesen, local mom and mini-church-goer. “Bigger isn’t always better.”
Friesen meets with her two children, Lisa, age 7, and Benjamin, age 3 1/2, every Sunday morning in her own living room. Sometimes her husband David wakes up to join them.
“He’s not the most committed mini-church-goer,” says Friesen, “but sometimes he stops by for a quick prayer on the way to the bathroom.”
Tiny churches like Friesen’s are cropping up all over Steinbach. Tired of the flash and pizzaz of ever-expanding stadium-sized churches, residents are preferring the contemplative mood of listening to “10,000 Reasons” in between episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine and Paw Patrol.
“Who needs pyrotechnics when you have Netflix?” asks Friesen, who is now calling herself Associate Pastor at 1625 Kroeker Avenue Mennonite Church.
Her Kroeker Avenue home is currently undergoing a massive redevelopment to accommodate the congregation.
“We are thinking of re-painting the master bedroom and getting new linoleum in the kitchen,” says Friesen, “but I’m not sure that will be enough. When the twins are born we may have to branch off and form a second church. Any more than three or four people and it just gets too impersonal. I mean, I haven’t spoken with Pastor Dave in years. I don’t even think he knows my name.”
In response to the growth of mini-churches, established area megachurches are halting all construction projects until the wayward souls come back into the fold.
(photo credit: Micah Danao/CC)