Small Congregation, Big Potential: Ministry in the Small Membership Church

Overview

There are many questions that leaders of small-membership congregations ask themselves about their church's future. Lyle Schaller suggests that two in particular should rise to the top of the list. First, what's the right size of for a church? Is the small congregation averaging two or three dozen people at worship a legitimate order of God's creation? You bet it is, says Schaller. Second, should these congregations make their plans on the basis of few resources and fewer options, or should they see themselves as...

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Overview

There are many questions that leaders of small-membership congregations ask themselves about their church's future. Lyle Schaller suggests that two in particular should rise to the top of the list. First, what's the right size of for a church? Is the small congregation averaging two or three dozen people at worship a legitimate order of God's creation? You bet it is, says Schaller. Second, should these congregations make their plans on the basis of few resources and fewer options, or should they see themselves as possessed of pools of talent and expanding possibilities? If you are convinced that the former is true, then this book is not for you.

If, however, you are among those who believe that small-membership churches are distinctive places of Christian witness and service, spreading the gospel and living in service to the world in ways that other, larger churches are not, then this book is for you. In it you will find the right questions to ask as you seek to lead a small-membership congregation, and solid, practical guidance for doing so.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687036561
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2004
  • Pages: 215
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 How do you define small? 23
Ch. 2 That's not a category! 31
Ch. 3 Why so many? 39
Ch. 4 The 21st-century context 55
Ch. 5 Superstar a talented team? 71
Ch. 6 Empower the laity! 79
Ch. 7 The affiliate relationship 93
Ch. 8 Carve out a niche 105
Ch. 9 Questions on sharing resources 111
Ch. 10 The endowed church 121
Ch. 11 Is numerical growth a goal? 129
Ch. 12 What about those ninth-graders? 143
Ch. 13 Should we merge? 155
Ch. 14 Three technological scenarios 163
Ch. 15 A dozen really hard cases 171
Ch. 16 A denominational perspective 185
Ch. 17 What will tomorrow bring? 197
App. A Distribution of congregations by average worship attendance 205
App. B Median size of congregations as measured by average worship attendance 209
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