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Working well and working big are not necessarily the same thing.

There I was, settling into my first full-time pastorate, and wondering, What have I gotten myself into? With a consistent attendance of less than fifteen and a total church budget of under $14,000, you might say there was nowhere to go but up. But how do you begin the ascent?

The people looked to me for leadership, but I wasn't sure I knew where to start, let alone where to lead.

Although my situation was probably extreme, in principle it illustrates what all small-church pastors face at one time or another. With limited resources, a handful of people, and not infrequently a hint of discouragement or desperation, what can a pastor do to make a difference, especially when the budget restrains experimentation? From my ten years in a small church, I have learned three principles that helped set our ministry on a steady, upward course. The principles are not earth-shattering, but they set the stage for growth.

A Positive Perspective

In smaller churches, I have observed what I call the "attitudes ...

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