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Smaller Churches

I met with many pastor search teams to help them in that process while serving as an area resource minister. The majority of the churches in my area were smaller churches, and many of them were looking for bivocational leadership. One of the things that often hindered their search was the expectations they had of […] Read More

I worked regularly with pastor search committees in Indiana and Kentucky during the last 14 years as an American Baptist Churches resource minister. My role was to help them through our process of searching for a pastor and to give them information on persons that might meet their criteria. Finding qualified persons for smaller churches […] Read More

I was invited to preach at a local Baptist association’s Lenten service. For the past three years, this association has come together during the Lenten season to hold joint worship services on Sunday evenings. Each week they meet in a different church with a different pastor speaking. Often, still another church in the association will […] Read More

Leaders, including pastors, are responsible for growing other leaders. For smaller church pastors, it is essential to grow leaders because many smaller churches struggle to find pastors today. More than once, while working with the pastor search committee of a smaller church, I’ve asked them if there was anyone in their congregation who might be […] Read More

Smaller churches often complain about not having any money. At times, however, the problem is that they have too much money. One small church that averages about 12 people each week told me they had more than $100,000 in savings. An even smaller church has nearly double that amount. A third small church was struggling […] Read More

I challenge the attendees of my smaller-church workshops to focus the ministries of their congregation on one or two things they can do with excellence. Many smaller churches are trying to do too many things. Often, they are still structured as they were when they were a larger congregation and trying to do all the […] Read More

I am often asked when I lead conferences, “What do you think is the future of the small church?” My consistent response has been that I think we will see the number of smaller churches increase in the coming years. The medium-size congregations, by contrast, will struggle most, as they will be forced to offer […] Read More

Smaller churches often accomplish more by doing less. Sometimes a smaller church feels it must compete with the larger churches in the community to attract people. This is always a mistake because the smaller church simply does not have the resources to offer the same ministries as a larger church. Taking a “shotgun approach” to […] Read More

Drought and Blessing

Recent showers will make it possible for us to mow the yard again this weekend. And the hayfield out by the county hospital has been cut for the second crop of hay this summer. Usually, a third cutting has already been bailed and put in the barn. It will not produce at its normal level. […] Read More

Those of us whose ministry is in smaller and rural churches have been blessed over the past five years by the publication of several very helpful books. Collectively, they assist in understanding the culture, processes and context of this set of churches. They also provide ideas for improved ministry and offer hope for the future. […] Read More