Too many small church pastors are doing most, maybe all, of their ministry alone.
They wonder if anyone outside the church even knows or cares that they exist.
That isolation can become toxic. And it can start to bleed out into their congregations, confirming the worst stereotypes about why small churches remain small.
On top of that, when we look for help, we often find more frustration than encouragement – as we discussed in my last post, 5 Things You Should Never Say To A Small Church Pastor.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. If we took just a little time and energy to reach out, we could help reverse this trend.
So what can we say to help encourage the small church pastors in our lives? Or even bring them into our lives so we can encourage them?
In my experience, these 5 expressions of support would go a long way. Whether they come from a denominational official, a fellow pastor or a church member.
1. “A Small Church Can Be A Great Church”
I’m in favor of church growth. I rejoice every time I see it.
But most churches stop growing after they reach certain plateaus. Even when church growth principles are applied, most small churches stay small.
What if, instead of insisting that a church must get bigger to prove its value, we found out what’s great about small church ministry, then encouraged, supported and resourced it?
After all, we don’t need big, or even growing numbers to do God’s will. The New Testament does not have a single command for the church that can’t be fulfilled by three people working together under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s remind ourselves of that, and encourage churches that are doing it – no matter how big or small they are.
2. “I’m Praying For You”
A Facebook comment.
It takes so little to remind a fellow small church pastor that you remember them and are asking God to bless them.
3. “Can I Take You Out To Lunch?”
So many small church pastors feel alone and abandoned.
Often by their own denominations, fellow pastors and even their church members.
Nothing says “you’re not alone” like an invitation to lunch from someone who cares.
Sharing a meal with a small church pastor with no agenda other than to let them know you care can bless a pastor and impact a church’s ministry more than you may ever know.
4. “How Can I Help?”
Most small churches suffer from an astonishing lack of resources. Both material and human.