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Can a Pro-Growth Pastor Love a No-Growth Church?

"The best advice I can give pastors in small, traditional churches," said the speaker, "is to move. Such churches won't accept a pastor who trains others to minister instead of doing all the ministry himself. Plant your own churches. You'll never change one that already exists."

I know the feeling. Every year disillusioned pastors committed to growth leave small churches--after trying but failing to bring about change.

It's true: many characteristics of small churches frustrate growth. In general, small churches are interested in preserving relationships and, thus, status quo. Introduce too much change and people respond with a negative, moral judgment: "Things aren't right here anymore."

I have found, however, that small-church pastors can implement growth principles--with some modification. The following four principles are especially important for growing (and surviving as a leader) in a smaller congregation.

REDEFINE WHAT IT MEANS TO STRETCH

I was inspired by a speaker who said, "Churches ...

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