“Encouraging, Connecting and Equipping Innovative Small-Church Leaders.”
Eight simple words that can transform your church, your ministry and your life.
How do I know that? Because the principles behind those eight words helped transform my life and my church from being defeated, wounded and sad to being strong, healthy and joyous.
Those eight words will be the operating template for everything New Small Church does.
Pastors need encouragement. Small-church pastors need a lot of encouragement. But they get very little of it. So the first word from me to small-church pastors will always be this:
What you do matters. Your church matters. Your hard work, prayer, commitment and dedication may not be seen by many, but it is seen and appreciated by God.
We’re going to encourage small-church pastors and leaders in every way we can.
Small-church pastors spend way too much time by themselves. It’s not that they want to be the lone wolf, wandering the open range late on Saturday night in search of sermon ideas, slow and weak enough to pounce on—it just happens that way.
It starts with a lack of money and time. Many small-church pastors have to work a second job, so they don’t get as much time for ministry as they’d like. Even if they work at the church full-time, there’s little, if any, support staff. So they end up being the secretary, receptionist, gardener, janitor, computer expert, etc.
Meeting with other ministers at seminars and conferences is a luxury. There’s not enough time to spend with their family and congregation, let alone three days for a spiritual retreat.
My website can’t solve those problems. But we are going to offer the tired, frustrated, out-of-money small-church leader an alternative to walking through this alone. And we’ll do it in the most convenient, cheapest way we know. (Free is cheap, right?)
This will be a place where small-church pastors can come at any time, literally 24/7/365. A place to get help, ideas, encouragement and, while not a substitute for genuine fellowship and community, a place to feel a little more connected.
What if you had a job to do, but couldn’t find the tools to do it? That’s the struggle most small-church pastors face.
Do a Google search for church growth, megachurch, house church or church planting, and you’ll find tons of great material.
Then do the same thing for small church. The choices are depressing. Not to insult the books and websites that do exist, but there are just so few of them. That’s all there is for 80 percent of the churches in the world.
New Small Church is determined to help change that by finding, creating and promoting the best resources available.
If megachurches are the cruise ships on the Christian ocean, small churches should be the speedboats. We can move faster, maneuver more deftly, squeeze into tighter spaces and have a ton of fun doing it. We just have to choose to see ourselves that way.
Based on that idea, New Small Church will strive to:
- Think as creatively as the God we serve.
- Celebrate the opportunities that come with being small.
- Explore new, innovative ideas and methods.
- Lead, not follow.
- Stay on offense.
- Have fun.
What, exactly will that look like? I don’t know. As the great theologian Indiana Jones said, “I’m just making it up as I go along.”
If we knew what we were doing in advance, it wouldn’t be very innovative, would it?
If anyone asks, “Why aim a ministry at helping small churches?” my answer would be to pose another question.
About 80 percent of the churches in the world are small. And being small is different than being big—in a whole lot of ways. But, by my nonscientific estimate, 80 to 90 percent of pastoral-help books, even those that claim to be written for all churches, are written from a grow-a-big-church perspective, while less than 1 percent are about how to pastor a small church. (The remaining 9 to 19 percent, for all you math geeks, are about planting churches or house churches.)
Sure, there’s some overlap of principles that apply to both small and large churches. But less than 1 percent of resources are designed for that huge chunk of space that only applies to small churches.
We’re not here to whine about the lack of materials that apply to us, but to find, develop and promote resources that do apply to us.
That’s the target New Small Church is aiming for. It’s a sizable target, so I know we can hit it. But I also know there’s no way we can fill it by ourselves.
It’s a big pool. New Small Church isn’t just for my ideas, but yours too. Let’s fill that gap together.
New Small Church is not for everyone sitting in a small church on the weekend. We’re specifically talking to and with leaders.
Why? Because leadership matters.
And we don’t just mean pastors. As anyone who’s attended a small church knows, sometimes the most powerful leader in the church has no title whatsoever. And their influence isn’t always a positive one. (Been there, done that, burned the souvenir T-shirt).
And your leadership role doesn’t have to be within a small church, either. If your leadership affects small churches, we want you in on the conversation. Denominational officials, seminary teachers, Christian authors, bloggers, publishers, mentors and more will find something helpful and can make significant contributions.
So get the word out. If you are in leadership that affects small-church ministry in any way, “Tag, you’re it!”
Let’s start a new conversation.
Can you think of anything else we can do for small churches? Do you have a question or idea for us?