Review of Small is Big!: Unleashing the Big Impact of Intentionally Small Churches by Tony and Felicity Dale, and George Barna


Genre: Church Planting and Growth/House Churches


Originally published as The Rabbit and the Elephant, this book is now updated and expanded. What makes Small is Big special are the personal stories of various simple (house) churches: how they were started, how they worked, how they expanded, and so forth. It’s also about evangelism and outreach, since most of the churches are started among non-Christians outside of church culture.

It is more balanced than many other house church books in that it speaks positively regarding both “simple” (organic) and “legacy” (traditional) churches. The benefit of this is that the pastor/leader of a traditional church could easily glean from the information given without necessarily reforming all of church structure. It’s also informative regarding the predominate move toward house and non-conventional churches, even in the Western world. Examples are taken from diverse movements within the church body, ranging from Iris Ministries in Mozambique (very organic and charismatic) to Saddleback Church (a program-lead mega church). It is a unifying resource.

On the other hand, it’s not as specific or detailed regarding the “theology” of house churches so to speak. For the reader who has specific questions regarding communion, giving, five-fold ministry, and so on, I recommend: The House Church Book by Wolfgang Simson, and Corinthian Elders by Jack Fortenberry. Small is Big is an encouraging and simple book about simple church, not a complete work on the ins and outs of the house church movement.

I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of the Tyndale Blog Network.