Do you prefer large or small religious communities?

By Leca
@lecanis (16739)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
May 2, 2007 5:41pm CST
This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. I've been a member of a few different religious communities over the years, some very large and some very small (the most recent had three other members). I really enjoyed working with just a small number of people, but it didn't leave any room for those days when you just don't really want to take a large role. But in the larger communities, I felt really lost and like no one knew me or cared to know me. So I think I'm a medium kind of person in this respect. What about you? Do you like going to large churches, covens, temples, whatever? Or do you prefer smaller ones where everyone knows your name and expects you to play a part?
6 people like this
17 responses
@Celanith (2334)
• United States
3 May 07
I really prefer smaller church groups where there is a warmth of family, when you get too big people get overlooked, lost and drift away. The bigger the group the less love there is to be found and people start forming cliques and shutting newcomers out more.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
3 May 07
*nods* I was in a religious community when I was younger where I didn't go for over a month because I was in the hospital, and no one noticed! That's not fun at all! Thanks for your response!
• China
2 May 07
I prefer the large one.Cause all kinds of facilities are equiped better in the larger religious communities.And there are more people there,so people are more likely to go there.It's more interesting there.
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
2 May 07
That's something I didn't consider: facilities! Large religious communities can generally provide a lot better facilities. Thanks for bringing that up.
1 person likes this
@howhigh (758)
• Canada
2 May 07
HUGE churches can be impersonal like the big ones that are on tv some times, but at the same time very powerful because its a collection of people of a like mind On the other end of the spectrum with 2 other people it must be very powerful because its so immediate but i've never done that. I think in churches in the middle its good to know some people but not everyone.. on the other ends for me it all seems a bit much. Myself i am not religious and I don't go to church but as I was growing up i went with my grand parents and family on the odd occasion.. and usually for easter. It has become something of a tradition for me over the years.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
2 May 07
Thanks for sharing! I can see what you mean about the power of large gatherings, I have felt that in the past. I like those types of things on religious holidays or whatever, but I can't imagine trying to go to something like that all the time.
2 people like this
@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
3 May 07
I am large community kind of a person, I like annonimity and that comes in large group only. I would like to know just a very few people dearly than know everyone. I find my privacy to follow my religious code very dear to my heart and I find very few people who are like me. Mostly people just follow their faith not understanding neither questioning why....I like to ask uncomfortable questions and that usually puts me in the blasphemous lot..... so if more people are there the lesser people will concentrate on me and more on themselves which works really good for me. If I were to be in a small community you might see my name burn quite a few times yes people in my religion think just because it is old it has no negativities ... every organised religion has some negative side afterall it was created by man.... so if some idiot comes and tells me my religion is the best they are going to beaten down with my remarks (agreed that my religion is one of the most tolerant but anyone who says it is the best is fooling himself and the world) So I like the big community thing better also I am not too pious to go for every celebero-tary thing that happens in my religion if I do I will spend more time in the house of worship than anywhere else in the world which might be a good thing when I am 60 and have not much to do but at my young age I find it a waste of my resources so I pray daily at home. thats me dear. have a smashing day :)
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
4 May 07
Thanks for your very detailed response! You have some really good points. Haha, I've had some of those encounters too, people that say our religion is the best, and I'm like "I don't really think that. I only think my religion is the best for me." It just boggles people's minds. =p You have a smashing day too!
1 person likes this
@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
4 May 07
It boggles people's mind and they also go tell everyone in the communtiy about my thought leading to me being labelled "That balsphemous girl". WEll that was young age now I am more discrete in choosing communities,yet I feel people should not have so much of blind following of their faith, they must question their practices and also allow others to question their faith... this strengthens their own faith and if a practice is wrong they must admit it as their religions failings rather than go about protecting it which I find plain foolish.In my opinion religions are just a way to bind people under an umbrella just like binding people under a country or a state so one must respect it but to follow something, rather anything blindly is not a good practice!
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
3 May 07
Well I've been part of a large group and I agree they don't really know you. You get lost in the numbers. Right now I'm a solitary practioner and I enjoy that. I don't have to worry about what others think or feel. I can dot hings my own way. It works out best for me. I think I could handle a small group though. Two or three others besides myself. That might be possible but it would have to be the right ones, ones I could trust and work with without a problem.
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
3 May 07
I can't believe I forgot to include solitary. =p For right now, I'm sort of there too. My husband and I both attend a Unitarian Universalist fellowship, but for the most part, my actual practice is solitary. The last group I was in kind of just stopped being the right place for me, and the other groups in my area are far too large for me to feel at home in. I agree with your qualifications there.
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
3 May 07
It's easy to over look when there is only one member standing there :) I haven't known many people in real life who are pagan so it's hard for me to figure out how I'd work with others. The only groups I've known have been Christian and most of them left a bad taste in my mouth. Perhaps that's one reason I prefer to be a solitary.
1 person likes this
@scammerwear (1433)
• Singapore
3 May 07
I was once part of well known and pretty sizable groups in Singapore (10+ is sizable here, like I said, backwaters). Things got ugly when power play and egos clashed. In both of these groups, things fell apart and enemies were made around. For a few years, I tried to drift around and find 'somewhere I belong'. Nothing fit. Slowly, I started to draw away from all the drama and meaningless ego parades. Now I'm left with a selected few friends who share similar believes. I'm happier then I ever was 'out there' :)
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
4 May 07
*nods* Those big groups can have the ego and power play issues. I've bene in the middle of that stuff too, and it's not pretty. I know what you mean about relative sizes... 10+ is pretty big where I live for groups in my religion. =)
• United States
3 May 07
I am sort of "medium" too. While a congregation that's too lost can often make you feel like nothing more then a number, in retrospect a congregation that's very tiny gets too dependent upon your services and also can get a little "busy body" like amongst each other. I like a sort of in between area where there's enough people to pretty much know most by face, some by name and there's enough around to not be an issue if you don't attend a function, etc.
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
4 May 07
Ah, I forgot to mention the "busy body" problem... I've seen that one before too. =p Thanks for your response!
@akopoto (177)
• Philippines
3 May 07
I really like seeing a lot of people in our religious community because it just shows how we share the same faith. The more the members the more brothers and sisters I can talk to but sometimes I like to attend a mass in a church with just a few people because it looks more solemn to me since there is less noise when there are few people attending the mass.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
3 May 07
Thanks for your response! I suppose that makes sense, that seeing a lot of people with the same faith as you could be heartening. I hadn't thought of it in that way before! Thanks. =)
@mari123 (1862)
• China
3 May 07
large or small religious communities,to me ,i prefer to choose the large one,because large one can give you more thing,spirit and physical things give you a lot,people in the large one,have large power to hold together.but there are more competition in large one,maybe you will not play a great roll in large one,but you can learn more from the famous people.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
3 May 07
Thanks for your response! Those were some things I hadn't considered, thanks so much!
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
3 May 07
I've been to large churches (I'll use this term just because it's easier) and small ones, and also those that are in between. In the larger ones, it hard to be noticed or feel if you are cared about in any more than a very superficial away. That is unless of course you want to work really, really hard to become one that is noticed. In the smaller churches it is usually much more intimate. But again, it can be very cliqueish, so fitting in might take some work. To answer your question in all honesty I prefer no church or organization. I'd rather find my spiritual path on my own, and worship when and how and with who I see fit. I may be biased, lately I've come to have little use for people, so that very well may be coloring my thoughts on this matter.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
3 May 07
Ah I forgot to include "none" as one of the options! Silly me! Thanks for your response, it's very interesting. =)
1 person likes this
@Ashbee02 (24)
• United States
3 May 07
I like going to a bigger church (as long as there doctorine is right) and joining a small group like Bible studies or age groups. If you go to a large church chances are you will be able to participate in more things, there will be more activities for all different ages and they will have more money to spend on outreach and presentation things. And also if you join a small group you get the benefits of a small church (knowing everyone, having friends) while in a larger church community.
1 person likes this
• China
3 May 07
I am chinese! you know china is a very big country not only for its huge territory but also for its populations ,its long history its abundant culture,in my heart ,I only feel g fortunate that I am chinese.
1 person likes this
@jessemt35 (294)
• Qatar
3 May 07
I really don't mind if a religious community is small or large and even if I am not recognize. being in a religious community doesn't mean that you need to be attended to. We are there to participate and contribute what we have to offer without asking for favor or return because what we do is we do it for the Lord rather than for men and knowing that the Lord will reward us on our actions.
1 person likes this
@jahvo6 (624)
• Peru
3 May 07
I have´t been involved in an religious community, I just go to big churches but if I get involved in one I ´d like one not so big so I can really meet and get to know all it´s members.
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8527)
• United States
3 May 07
My father is an ordained minister and when I was growing up, our "Church" was in our living room, with all of our housemates numbering anywhere from 10 to 25. Once my dad got his church the congregation grew to the 100's. I enjoy the church that I attend, I think it is mostly because of my dad, but I do sometimes greatly miss the services in our living room. It was fun, informative and "family."
1 person likes this
• India
3 May 07
i think these relgious people want to increase there strenght So they will call them to there communit. Ever one like there community is large . because when any of the problem comes they are join togther and help them
1 person likes this
4 May 07
i'm an atheist although i was initially brought up as a prodestant