Small Church

Why Most Small Churches Don’t Use (Or Need) An Organizational Chart

Does your small church have an Organizational (Org) Chart?

If you don’t, relax. You probably don’t need one.

If you do, brace yourself. You may want to get rid of it because they tend not to work in small churches like they work in large churches. In fact, some of the problems that you think are people related may in fact be Org Chart related.

In small churches, having an Org Chart can cause more frustration than they’re worth.

Why “Get The Right People On The Bus” Doesn’t Always Work For A Small Church Staff

One of the biggest frustrations faced by small church pastors is a lack of resources, including so-called human resources. “If only I had more money, a better building, more people or the right people” they complain, “then we could really get something done at our church.”

There are so many problems with that mindset, starting with the idea that there are “right” and “wrong” people.

In God’s eyes there are no “right” people or “wrong” people, and there shouldn’t be in our eyes, either.

To address this issue, here’s an excerpt from my new book, Small Church Essentials, chapter 5, “Why Is My Church So Weird?”

The Two Biggest Mistakes Churches Make With Money

There are two equal, but opposite mistakes churches regularly make regarding money. Especially for smaller churches, these may be the main ways that finances (or lack of them) stop us from doing what we should be doing.

(This is part of an ongoing series, Money and the Small Church.)

Mistake #1: Giving veto power to the accountant, treasurer or budget

In many churches, Jesus in not in charge as much as we’d like to think he is. Neither is the pastor or the congregation. The treasurer or accountant is. Sometimes literally, with a dictatorial hand. I’ve heard from far too many pastors who feel completely hamstrung in their church because all the power is in the hands of one person who has been given the power of the purse.

Sometimes it’s not one person, but a committee of people. Sometimes it’s just looking at the amount of money that isn’t there and feeling helpless.

Either way, the results are the same. Money is in charge of too many churches.

How To Give Money Less Power Over Your Church

Money is in charge of too many of our churches.

So many good congregations want to do great ministry, but their limited finances cause them to make too many decisions based on what they can or can’t afford, instead of what God is calling them to do.

It’s a trap that may seem impossible to get put of. But there is hope.

In today’s post I want to tell you about a decision our church made over two decades ago that has been a great starting point in allowing us to follow God more and money less.

Here it is.

Our church will never make a decision about doing a ministry based on what we can or can’t afford. Because if we pencil it out, we’ll never be able to afford it.

(This is part of an ongoing series, Money and the Small Church.)

How To Give Money Less Power Over Your Church

Money is in charge of too many of our churches.

So many good congregations want to do great ministry, but their limited finances cause them to make too many decisions based on what they can or can’t afford, instead of what God is calling them to do.

It’s a trap that may seem impossible to get put of. But there is hope.

In today’s post I want to tell you about a decision our church made over two decades ago that has been a great starting point in allowing us to follow God more and money less.

Here it is.

Our church will never make a decision about doing a ministry based on what we can or can’t afford. Because if we pencil it out, we’ll never be able to afford it.

(This is part of an ongoing series, Money and the Small Church.)

Money And The Small Church: Job One – Don’t Spend More Than You Bring In

When it comes to the issue of Money And The Small Church, (or money and big churches, money and family finances, money and business, etc.) there is one principle that stands high above all the others.

It’s so basic, I almost feel silly having to write it. But it is Job One for faithful financial stewardship.

Don’t spend more money than you bring in.

That’s it. There is simply no financial principle more important for a church to observe than that.

Small Church Essentials Is Here!

Today is the day!

You can now buy your copy of my new book, Small Church Essentials, for yourself or for a church leader you know.

Small Church Essentials is the result of all the time I’ve spent writing for, speaking with, and – most importantly – listening to small church pastors and other leaders over the five years since writing The Grasshopper Myth.

To get an idea of what this new book is about, here’s a snippet from the intro:

“This is a book about small churches.

For small churches.

By a small church pastor of over 30 years.

This book is not about how to get your small church to become a big church. It’s also not about how small churches are better than big churches. (They’re not.) And it’s definitely not about settling for less.

It’s not about wanting churches to be small; it’s about wanting small churches to be great.”

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

It’s hard when people leave a church.

It’s hard to leave. It’s hard being left.

Most who leave don’t make that decision lightly. They deal with some serious pain when they finally make the decision to go. As a pastor I’m more familiar with seeing good people leave the church than being the person who goes through the pain of leaving, so that’s what I want to address in this post.

If you’ve been a pastor for several years, you’ve had to deal with your share of such departures. Each one hurts. It’s especially hard when those leaving are long-term members.

The collective pain of all those departures over a long period of time can wear a pastor down.

Even if the church is large and growing, it can be hard when people leave. But when the church is small, each loss is much more painful.

Only In a Small Church: Face Time With the Pastor

When someone goes to a megachurch, there’s no way the pastor can answer the average request for a face-to-face meeting. So they hire staff and set up systems to meet those needs in other ways. That’s a fine alternative for a lot of churchgoers and their spiritual growth.

But it doesn’t work for everyone.

Some people need access to their pastor. It helps them grow. It lets them ask the tough questions. It allows them to open up on a more personal level.

If you’re a small church pastor who’s struggling with the fact that you don’t have the small groups or classes you’ve been told you should have, I understand your frustration.

Let’s not forget that the disadvantages of a small church are regularly outweighed by the privilege we have of discipling people on a more personal level.

You’re their pastor. That matters. Let’s make it count.

If Our Church Was Bigger, We Could…

Pastoring a small church can be frustrating.

We look around at our big church counterparts and it’s easy to wonder what it would be like if our church had all those resources.

So, sometime we play the “what if…” game.

We imagine ourselves in those churches, with those resources and we start thinking, if our church was bigger we could…