8 Simple Words that Can Transform Your Church

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Encouraging, Connecting and Equipping Innovative Small Church Leaders.

Eight words.

Eight simple words that can transform your church, your ministry and your life.

How do I know that? Because the principles behind those eight words helped transform my life and my church from being defeated, wounded and sad to being strong, healthy and joyous.

Those eight words will be the operating template for everything New Small Church does.

 

Encouraging

Pastors need encouragement. Small Church pastors need a lot of encouragement. But they get very little of it. So the first word from me to Small Church pastors will always be this:

What you do matters. Your church matters. Your hard work, prayer, commitment and dedication may not be seen by many, but it is seen and appreciated by God.

We’re going to encourage Small Church pastors and leaders in every way we can.

 

Connecting

Small Church pastors spend way too much time by themselves. It’s not that they want to be the lone wolf, wandering the open range late on Saturday night in search of sermon ideas that are slow and weak enough to pounce on – it just happens that way.

It starts with a lack of money and time. Many Small Church pastors have to work a second job, so they don’t get as much time for ministry as they’d like. Even if they work at the church full time there’s little, if any, support staff. So they end up being the secretary, receptionist, gardener, janitor, computer expert, etc.

Meeting with other ministers at seminars and conferences is a luxury. There’s not enough time to spend with their family and congregation, let alone three days for a spiritual retreat.

NewSmallChurch.com can’t solve those problems. But we are going to offer the tired, frustrated, out-of-money Small Church leader an alternative to walking through this alone. And we’ll do it in the most convenient, cheapest way we know. (Free is cheap, right?)

This blog.

This will be a place where Small Church pastors can come at any time, literally 24/7/365. A place to get help, ideas, encouragement and, while not a substitute for genuine fellowship and community, a place to feel a little more connected.

 

Equipping

What if you had a job to do, but couldn’t find the tools to do it? That’s the struggle most Small Church pastors face.

Do a Google search for church growth, megachurch, house church or church planting and you’ll find tons of great material.

Then do the same thing for Small Church. The choices are depressing. Not to insult the books and websites that do exist, but there are just so few of them. That’s all there is for 80% of the churches in the world.

New Small Church is determined to help change that by finding, creating and promoting the best resources available.

 

Innovative

If megachurches are the cruise ships on the Christian ocean, Small Churches should be the speedboats. We can move faster, maneuver more deftly, squeeze into tighter spaces and have a ton of fun doing it. We just have to choose to see ourselves that way.

Based on that idea, New Small Church will strive to:

What, exactly will that look like? I don’t know. As the great theologian, Indiana Jones said, “I’m just making it up as I go along.”

If we knew what we were doing in advance, it wouldn’t be very innovative, would it?

 

Small Church

If anyone asks “Why aim a ministry at helping Small Churches?”, my answer would be to pose another question.

Why aren’t there hundreds of ministries aimed at helping Small Churches?

About 80% of the churches in the world are small. And being small is different than being big – in a whole lot of ways. But, by my non-scientific estimate, 80-90% of pastoral help books, even those that claim to be written for all churches, are written from a grow-a-big-church perspective, while less than 1% are about how to pastor a Small Church. (The remaining 9-19%, for all you math geeks, are about planting churches or house churches).

Big Church, Small Church priniples Venn diagramSure there’s some overlap of principles that apply to both small and large churches. But less than 1% of resources are designed for that huge chunk of space that only applies to Small Churches.

We’re not here to whine about the lack of materials that apply to us, but to find, develop and promote resources that do apply to us.

That’s the target New Small Church is aiming for. It’s a sizable target, so I know we can hit it. But I also know there’s no way we can fill it by ourselves.

It’s a big pool. New Small Church isn’t just for my ideas, but yours too. Let’s fill that gap together.

 

Leaders

New Small Church is not for everyone sitting in a Small Church on the weekend. We’re specifically talking to and with leaders.

Why? Because leadership matters.

And we don’t just mean pastors. As anyone who’s attended a Small Church knows, sometimes the most powerful leader in the church has no title whatsoever. And their influence isn’t always a positive one. (Been there, done that, burned the souvenir T-shirt).

And your leadership role doesn’t have to be within a Small Church, either. If your leadership affects Small Churches, we want you in on the conversation. Denominational officials, seminary teachers, Christian authors, bloggers, publishers, mentors and more will find something helpful and can make significant contributions.

So get the word out. If you are in leadership that affects Small Church ministry in any way, “Tag, you’re it!”

Let’s start a new conversation.

 

Can you think of anything else we can do for Small Churches? Do you have a question or idea for us?

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

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18 thoughts on “8 Simple Words that Can Transform Your Church”

    1. I never thought of that. I’m going to change the “&” to “and”, now that you mention it. I’m glad this is helping your clergy group. Loving on people in ministry is what this is all about.

  1. I’m intrigued by this very fruitful and much needed conversation. I am a worship leader at our church ( Christian Harbor Church Orriville Ohio) a small multi cultural church and we need this conversation. We just begun our 18th year and my Pastor (John Boggs) has entrusted my wife and I to assemble a ministry vision team to take his heart and create a tangible vision statement for our beautifully small church body. We have 3 campuses that total about 230 members. So we would your feedback on how do you know if your small church is being effective?

    1. Welcome to the conversation, Terrell. I’m glad you found us. Your church sounds great! Multi-cultural, 18 years, 3 campuses and 230 members. What a success story that is.

      Measuring success in a church is tricky business. Numbers give us a sense of certainty, which is why rely on them. But they can also divert us from working on the things that can’t be measured. Which I think a lot of churches have done – leading to a false view of both success and failure.

      I remain convinced that most things of real value in life are beyond measurement. Nevertheless, your question is a valid (and common) one, so I’ve written on this topic a couple times. Here are links to two of my posts that might start to answer that question for you:

      http://newsmallchurch.com/the-elements-of-a-healthy-small-church-and-the-hidden-agenda-that-can-kill-it/
      http://newsmallchurch.com/how-will-we-measure-our-success-the-question-the-disciples-forgot-to-ask-jesus/

  2. This, at first glance, seems to be an eye opener… I just stumbled across this book and site as I was looking for small group material. some of the comments hit right in the heart. I am a pastor of a small church and have nearly killed myself trying to become bigger, “As expected by the 9 that were in the church when I arrived…”. although those in the pews have always “awed” over the other “big” churches in the area, it seems to be getting to me more and more lately. I just ordered the book and after reading it I will determine my next course of action. Thanks for the ear…

    1. I hope it will continue to be an eye opener at second glance too, Roger. I’m glad you found us. Your situation sounds very familiar. There are a lot more of us going through situations like yours than many church leaders are aware of. I trust the book will be a blessing, too.

  3. Glad I found your blog. As a Children’s Director at a small diverse urban church surrounded by HUGE mega churches (20 minutes from Rick Warren’s place) it’s VERY tempting to fall into the “we should be like them!” trap. But it’s no different than coveting my neighbor’s Lexus.

  4. Glad I found your blog. As a Children’s Director at a small diverse urban church surrounded by HUGE mega churches (20 minutes from Rick Warren’s place) it’s VERY tempting to fall into the “we should be like them!” trap. But it’s no different than coveting my neighbor’s Lexus.

  5. Just found your site through SermonCentral. Reading this article I was grabbed by your comment, “New Small Church is not for everyone sitting in a Small Church on the weekend. We’re specifically talking to and with leaders.” – and as a small church pastor for 20 years, believe me…, i get it. But it made me wonder, has anyone ever written books, blogs, etc. for the ‘everyone’ sitting in a small church every weekend. They too need encouragement. They need to know it is beneficial to remain in the small church rather than chase after every ‘new thing’ that comes along. They need to know they have a much greater responsibility than the member of the mega-church. They need the encouragement to keep their hand to the plow, and not just from their Pastor. It’s kind of like mom telling you she loves you. Well, she’s your mom and that’s what she’s supposed to do, so how much impact does that really make? I am a second career pastor. Previously I was in the service business and there was a common sentiment among our customers, ‘The expert was the guy from 40 miles away.’ There needs to be a way for them to hear from the ‘expert’ whom they will respect that there is great potential and wonderful benefits to the small Church! not just from mom or dad.

    1. Hi Steve. First, welcome to NewSmallChurch.com. I’m glad reading my post at Sermon Central guided you hear.

      Second, I wish I knew of something for Small Church members. The reason I wrote my book and started this blog was because I didn’t even know of anything for Small Church leaders, so that’s where I started.

      I agree with you that church members need to hear it from someone other than their own pastor. I wish I had somewhere to point you for that. But material for Small Churches is just so rare.

      Not to make this a sales pitch, but I have heard from several pastors that they’ve used my book The Grasshopper Myth, with their leaders and church members. Even though it’s directed at church leaders, it’s written in such a way that non-leaders get something out of it too, since it focuses on the value of Small Churches.

      Perhaps in the future I, or someone else will write something to encourage members. It’s definitely needed.

  6. Well done. What would you do as part of the leadership of a local small urban church if your pastor was seemingly receptive to new ideas but takes forever to ever act on any, makes and breaks about 80% of appointments giving all types of excuses, seems unconcerned about the snail-speed of things, and quite detached from the congregation?

    1. Wow, that’s a tough one, Samuel. Are you part of a denomination or fellowship of churches, where you can get help from someone who has some authority in the situation?

  7. I just came across your website in the ways most others have and just wanted to say it was very encouraging. I pastor a small church that has a great group of faithful people. Because of numerical decline, I have spent time looking at areas which we are deficient and at times I dwell way too long on those areas and not on what we do well. I have had the joy of pastoring these wonderful people for the past 8 years and look forward to the coming years. thanks for the encouragement and practical advice I have read. To God be the glory, great things He has done, and continues to do with us.

  8. I just came across your website in the ways most others have and just wanted to say it was very encouraging. I pastor a small church that has a great group of faithful people. Because of numerical decline, I have spent time looking at areas which we are deficient and at times I dwell way too long on those areas and not on what we do well. I have had the joy of pastoring these wonderful people for the past 8 years and look forward to the coming years. thanks for the encouragement and practical advice I have read. To God be the glory, great things He has done, and continues to do with us.

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