Making the Small Church Effective

Overview

What makes the small church so reliably steady, closely intimate, and beautifully simple -- a worthy model of the Christian church? Carl S. Dudley affirms the main cause as lying within the minds of the church members.

Dr. Dudley refutes the rampant negative prejudices directed toward the small church in this innovative examination of the well-based beliefs and values of members of small congregations. He cites data from his extensive workshop experiences with pastors, members,...

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Overview

What makes the small church so reliably steady, closely intimate, and beautifully simple -- a worthy model of the Christian church? Carl S. Dudley affirms the main cause as lying within the minds of the church members.

Dr. Dudley refutes the rampant negative prejudices directed toward the small church in this innovative examination of the well-based beliefs and values of members of small congregations. He cites data from his extensive workshop experiences with pastors, members, and denominational leaders who represented well over a thousand small Christian congregations as foundations for his report. He offers helpful resources, practical exercises, and tested and reshaped tools to highlight and affirm the admirable internal strengths and gifts that small churches uniquely possess.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687230440
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1978
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 13
Chapter 1. Perspectives on the Small Church 19
Part I. Caring 29
Chapter 2. Exercise: The Choreography of Worship 31
Chapter 2. The Caring Cell 32
The Primary Group 32
Primary Groups in Larger Churches 34
The Single Cell of People-in-Place 35
Absent and Invisible Members 37
Social Order and Social Place 38
Miniature Multicelled Churches 39
The Implications of Social Place 40
Summary of a Caring Cell 43
For Further Reading 45
Chapter 3. Exercise: Gatekeepers and Patriarchs/Matriarchs 46
Chapter 3. Growth by Adoption 47
The Small Church Has Grown 47
The Small Church Can't Grow 48
The Small Church Can Change into a Larger Congregation 51
New Members Without Growth Pains 54
Gatekeepers and Patriarchs/Matriarchs 56
Reservations and Possibilities 57
For Further Reading 59
Chapter 4. Exercise: The Pastor's Study and Professional Feelings 61
Chapter 4. Pastor/People Tensions 62
Finances 63
Program 65
The Self-Image of the Pastor 68
Power in the Small Church 70
The Lover 71
For Further Reading 74
Part II. Conserving 75
Chapter 5. Exercise: A Church Shield or Coat of Arms 77
Chapter 5. Memory and Ministry 78
Belonging Is a Feeling 78
Exceptions to History 80
Biblical Memory 82
Abuses of Memory 83
Uses of Memory 85
From Memory to Ministry 86
Church Shield and Coat of Arms 88
For Further Reading 91
Chapter 6. Exercise: The Silent History of the Church 92
Chapter 6. Places of Ministry 93
Biblical Affirmations 94
Place in Healing 95
Healing Ministries 97
This Is Love--Pass It On 99
Silent History 100
Exorcising Places 101
To Make a Memorial 102
For Further Reading 103
Chapter 7. Exercise: A Calendar of Annual Church Events 104
Chapter 7. Events Worth Remembering 105
Passages of Time 106
Personal Transitions 109
Congregational Identity 110
Expanding Ministries 113
Caring Rhythm 114
Turf Stewardship 116
A Healthy Church 119
For Further Reading 120
Part III. Coping 121
Chapter 8. Exercise: Church Groups, Goals, and Purposes 123
Chapter 8. The Ministry of Goals and Purposes 124
Printing the Unspeakable 127
Levels of Leadership 130
Conflict over Goals 131
Goals and Purposes 134
For Further Reading 137
Chapter 9. Exercise: Church Fellowship Circles 138
Chapter 9. Turf Types of Churches 139
Heredity and Environment 140
Turf Types: Regional and Local 143
Regional: Old First and Holy Trinity 145
Regional: Ethnic Family Church 145
Regional: The High-Commitment Church 146
Local: The Stable Parish Church 147
Local: The Growing Neighborhood Church 149
Local: The Declining Neighborhood Church 150
Fellowship Circles and Membership Doors 151
For Further Reading 156
Chapter 10. Exercise: Tensions Between Denominations and Small Churches 157
Chapter 10. Are Denominations "Viable"? 158
Mutual Distrust 159
Denominational Perspectives 161
Denominational Resources 162
The Viable Church 164
The Problems of Money 167
Tentmaking Ministries 168
Clustering Churches 170
Local Independence 174
A Summary 175
Small-Church Perspectives 175
Small-Church Challenges 176
Small-Church Resources 177
For Further Reading 178
Notes 179
Index 189
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