Read These First – The Essentials

There’s a lot going on in Small Churches, and in the ministry of New Small Church. So, if you’re wondering where to start, this preview of essential posts will give you a good idea of what we’re about. And what we’re not about.

Scan the titles and excerpts, then click to read more. They’re listed by the order they were written, but each one stands on its own, so you can read them in any order you’d like.
Reality Check: We're All Going to Pastor a Small Church
Virtually every lead pastor will pastor a small church. At least for a while. Usually longer than we expect. Let's do it well.
Reality Check: We're All Going to Pastor a Small Church
George Bannister | Flickr

Three facts sit atop my list of things I wish someone had told me in Bible college.

FACT #1: 80-90 percent of pastoral ministry students will never pastor a church larger than 250 people.

FACT #2: Virtually all of us will pastor a small church for at least some time in ...

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The Church Needs More Creative Christians – And Better Critics
Every creative Christian has been criticized. We remember the creatives. We’ve forgotten the critics.
The Church Needs More Creative Christians – And Better Critics
Mark Sebastian | Flickr

Some people love to put others down.

The church is full of them.

For instance, here are some titles of recent online posts:

  • ‘10 Serious Problems with (name of new Christian book)’
  • ‘The Problem with (preachers name)’
  • 'Christians Should Stop Reading (name of Christian blogger)’
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9 Reasons to Embrace the Term 'Small Church'
Being small is not a problem, so calling us small churches isn't a problem either.
9 Reasons to Embrace the Term 'Small Church'
J N | Flickr

A lot of people don't like the term 'small church'. Including many small church pastors.

Before I wrote The Grasshopper Myth and started working with other small church pastors, I debated using a different term for churches like ours. After all, I wanted to help small ...

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Four Steps to Becoming a Great Church – Of Any Size
Becoming a big church is hard. Becoming a great church is simple. Not easy, but simple.
Four Steps to Becoming a Great Church – Of Any Size
Hernán Piñera | Flickr

We make church harder than it needs to be.

Why? I think a lot of it has to do with our size obsession.

We’ve convinced ourselves that it’s not possible to become a great church without becoming a big church. But the truth is, any church can become great. No ...

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Six Church-and-Culture Issues I Don't Care About Any More
The church needs to build bridges to the culture if we hope to reach it. But there are some bridges I won't cross any more.
Six Church-and-Culture Issues I Don't Care About Any More
Mirko Tobias Schäfer | Flickr

Well, that was ironic.

Last week I wrote a post, Six Church-Insider Issues I Don't Care About Any More. It resulted in more readers than any previous week this blog has ever had.

Apparently, being passionately apathetic is contagious.

As promised, today's post ...

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Six Church-Insider Issues I Don't Care About Any More
I used to waste a lot of time arguing over these issues. Now? Meh. On some things, apathy is the best policy.
Six Church-Insider Issues I Don't Care About Any More
Brian Jeffery Beggerly | Flickr

Is it possible to be passionately apathetic?

If so, count me in.

I grew up in the church. But in recent years I've found myself caring less about many of the issues I used to think mattered so much. I’m not just apathetic about them, I’m passionately apathetic. ...

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Is Church Holier With the Lights On? Or Off?
Two services. On opposite ends of the country. They couldn't have worshiped more differently. Which one got it right?
Is Church Holier With the Lights On? Or Off?
Portable Church | Flickr

There is no right format for worship.

This week I spoke at a ministers’ conference. In the closing commissioning service, most of the new ministers who came forward were wearing jeans and short-sleeved shirts. Those commissioning them were dressed the same.

As they ...

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Two Lists: One for a Healthy Church, One for a Big Church - And They Don’t Overlap
The list of ingredients for a healthy church is short and simple. The list for a big church is large and complex. We need to know the difference.
Two Lists: One for a Healthy Church, One for a Big Church - And They Don’t Overlap

Do all healthy things grow? Yes.

Do all healthy churches become big churches? No.

But many of us have been ministering under that false assumption. We've been told there’s one set of ingredients. Use them to become a healthy church and it will inevitably become ...

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Bringing Innovative Strategies to an Established Small Church
Three starter principles to help an existing church move from stuck and dying to healthy and innovative.
Bringing Innovative Strategies to an Established Small Church

Why bother trying to resurrect an old, dying church?

I’ve heard that question a lot.

There was a time when it seemed like every pastor I went to Bible college with was following church growth principles and starting new churches. In a few years they were buying ...

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Why 'Step Aside So the Church Can Find a Pastor to Grow It' Is a Bad Idea
Six reasons most small church pastors should stay, even if the numbers are static.
Why 'Step Aside So the Church Can Find a Pastor to Grow It' Is a Bad Idea
Glenn G | Flickr

There are broken churches in the world. Broken churches with failing pastors.

Most of those churches are small. Thankfully. But that’s just because 90 percent of all churches in the world are small.

So yes, there are good reasons for failing pastors to leave failing churches. ...

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