The 10 Most-Read Posts of 2014

Thank you signThank you to everyone who made 2014 such a great year for!

Our readership continues to grow. But, more importantly, the messages I receive from Small Church leaders through the comment section, TwitterFacebook and email, tell me that this blog is meeting real needs. Needs that many have felt might never be met.

And it’s not like I’m showing up with spectacular new answers. Sometimes, we just need to know we’re not alone in our struggles.

Over the last few days I’ve shared several mostly overlooked #BestOf2014 posts that I felt were worthy of a second look.

Today, I’m featuring the most-read posts of the year for These are the posts that you read and passed along to others, who then passed it to others and so on. Which means they met some real needs. These are some of my favorites, too. Plus, there are 3 bonus posts included.

If you missed any, or if you want to re-visit a favorite, click, read, then pass it along.


#1. When Church Growth Perceptions Don’t Match Small Church Reality (Infographic)

Church leaders have a lot of ideas about what the numerical growth of a church – and therefore its size – says about that church’s success and value. Unfortunately, many church growth perceptions don’t match the reality of Small Church life. This post is our first-ever infographic and our most widely-read post ever.    >> Read More


#2. The Growing Disconnect Between Spiritual Hunger and Church Attendance

Spiritual hunger isn’t a cultural thing. That God-shaped hole is hard-wired into every one of us. Church attendance isn’t down because people have stopped caring about spiritual things. It’s because we haven’t done such a great job at showing them how church attendance will help them answer that longing.   >> Read More


#3. 23 Non-Numerical Signs of a Healthy Church

Have we really become so obsessed with numbers that many pastors don’t know what a healthy church looks like, outside of crunching the numbers? Numbers may inform us, but they don’t define us. So, what non-numerical criteria can we use to determine church health? I’ve been compiling a list.   >> Read More


#4. The Essential First Step to Having a Healthy Small Church

The biggest problem with Small Churches is not that they’re small. The biggest problem with Small Churches is that we think Small Churches are a problem. But small is not the same as broken because small is not a problem. The idea that smallness is a problem – is a big problem! (One of two posts from 2013 that gained momentum in 2014).   >> Read More


#5. When People Leave: The Private Pain of the Small Church Pastor

This post is not about answers. It’s a public recognition of our shared private pain. With the hope that we can find some sort of solace by knowing we’re not alone in these feelings. 

Here are some painful truths many of us have felt when people leave our churches.   >> Read More



#6. The Elements of a Healthy Small Church – And the Hidden Agenda that Can Kill It

A healthy Small Church is not just a miniaturized version of a healthy big church. Pastors who try to do that are usually concentrating on the externals. And it never works out well when we do that.

But underneath, every healthy church looks the same – no matter what size it is. (Another 2013 post that grew in 2014).   >> Read More


#7. I Am a Small Church Pastor and I’m Calling Out the Church Leadership Bullies

Small Church pastors often feel bullied and insulted by the very church leaders we go to for hep. Demeaning Small Churches just because they’re small, inflicts unnecessary pain on 80-90% of the world’s churches and pastors. And on half of the Christians in the world who choose to worship Jesus in smaller settings.   >> Read More


#8. Church Members Aren’t Attending as Often – Are They Trying to Tell Us Something?

People live their lives differently than they did 20 years ago. Many people whose church attendance has dropped from nine out of ten Sundays to three out of four, have some very valid reasons for it. The church has always adapted to changing attendance behaviors. It’s time to do so again.   >> Read More


#9. Please Stop Writing “Here’s Why Your Church Isn’t Growing” Lists – They Don’t Help

When an already-discouraged pastor reads a list telling them their church isn’t growing because they’re visionless, self-serving and petty, it doesn’t lift them up, it beats them down.

Please stop beating us down for what you think we’re not doing. Guilt doesn’t motivate, it discourages.   >> Read More


#10. I Don’t Go to Church to Worship Jesus

I can worship Jesus anywhere, at any time. I don’t need a special building, a special day or a special time to do it. But I still go to church. Why?

I don’t go to church to worship Jesus. I go to church to worship Jesus with other people. Because I need to worship Jesus in the company of others. We all do.   >> Read More


BONUS: The 11th – 13th most-read posts of the year are so close in readership that, on any given day, they could switch places. So, as a bonus, here are their titles. (Plus, #13 is by far my most controversial post, yet.) Click on them to read more.

#11. Deal-Breakers: 7 Ways God May Tell You to Leave Your Church

#12. 7 Steps to Start Becoming a Church People Want to Commit To

#13. God Has Never Done a New Thing Using Old Songs

Thank you so much for all your support this past year! Onward to 2015!

So what do you think? What would you like to read about in 2015?

We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
Enter your comment right below this post and get in on the conversation.

(Thank You Sign photo from Avard Woolaver • Flickr • Creative Commons)

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