The Role of Small Churches
The small church has a tremendous role in providing current and future growth for the church, both in this country and around the world.
Trained leaders are key to helping the small church reach its community. Developing future trained leaders will also enable the small church to plant and train churches, as well.
No matter what the size of the church, every church has a responsibility to develop leaders that care for both the church and the communities where their people live. I have seen numbers that indicate that seventy percent of all churches are under a hundred in attendance. If you are in a small church, don’t be discouraged. You are the majority! Let’s look at some ways that we can grow in our ability to reach the community around us.
Pastors of Small Churches
As a pastor of a small church, you probably inherited your buildings, your property, your leaders, and the people that regularly attend the Sunday morning worship service. Your church may also be debt free. As a small church pastor, you probably have three or maybe four leaders in your church. Most of them may have been the leaders for as many years as you have lived. If this is the case, it will take extra time to develop and train new leaders from within your congregation and the community, for a number of reasons.
Leaders of Small Churches
Family longevity – Leaders have often grown up in this church and may be related to many of the current members and leaders. This is not necessarily bad, especially if there is a heritage of godly leadership that is seen again in the next generation of the family. However, that is not always the case. Another challenge is that this structure can be intimidating for new people who have no family within the church.
Assumptions – Some may have become leaders not so much from the fact that they have leadership gifts, but because they are well like and respected by the people. This is a good start, but continual training is still needed to fully develop leadership gifts.
Density – “We’re a small church, we don’t need to train any more leaders.” If you encounter this opinion, you will need to take time to encourage people toward the vision of training future leaders for the community, the world, and new churches.
Members of Small Churches
In a small church, no one can be left behind; everyone is important. You are noticed and missed when you’re not there. A welcoming, caring, nurturing fellowship like this is best able to impact a community. The best way to accomplish this is by training everyone you can to have the vision of leadership in their sphere of influence.
Communities Around Small Churches
Most communities know your church, if they have the occasion to drive by it. Maybe they have even been to a wedding, a funeral, but they really haven’t had the opportunity to KNOW your church; the care, and love that makes this church a special place. If communities are going to be reached, we have to understand that at the beginning it’s probably not going to be by attending your small church. It may start by developing a relationship with a coworker, a waitress, or a clerk as you check out of a store.
Training Potential Leaders
The small church has its work cut out for it, but nevertheless, work which it is uniquely gifted to meet. Most of the potential leaders are already within its walls and are loved by the church because they have known them for many years. Getting these potential leaders working alongside current leaders for the purpose of encouraging them and developing them is what lies ahead.
What are some of your favorite small church experiences?
Let’s talk! Share the Love…
- What Can a Small Church do? Part 2 (churchgps.wordpress.com)