The great Christian writer Eugene Peterson was recently featured on an episode of of “On Being” with Krista Tippett. It’s a thought-provoking exchange, and I appreciated in particular Peterson’s advice on picking a church. Here’s the exchange excerpted from the website transcript:
MR. PETERSON: That’s true. We go to a small church. When I was a pastor of a congregation, people would leave and say, “How do I pick a church?”
MS. TIPPETT: Yeah.
MR. PETERSON: And my usual question, my usual answer was go to the closest church where you live, and the smallest. And if after six months it’s just not working, go to the next smallest. [laughs]
MS. TIPPETT: [laughs] OK, so what is it about small rather than big?
MR. PETERSON: Because you have to deal with people as they are. And you’ve got to learn how to love them when they’re not loveable.