Why do I write this blog about small churches?


For those new to this blog, a little orientation might help.  I pastor a small church (avg. 80-attendance) in a small town (1300/population) in a rural county in south central Virginia.  Our growth opportunities are limited, our church is 151-years old, and we have our own set of blessings and challenges.

But, I have also planted a church that grew to 400, and pastored small churches in suburban areas that grew into larger churches running 400-600 in attendance with multiple staff members, and support staff.   So, I understand that perspective as well.

I try to write for a broad spectrum of small churches and their leaders, but one-size does not fit all, and I am well aware of that.  I write mostly about what I have experienced because that’s what I know.  I don’t write many theoretical posts because I’m trying to be helpful, not academic.

I believe that small churches are a good thing.  And, I also believe that not every small church will grow into a big church.  Statistics bear me out on that.  That might sound strange coming from someone who studied church growth at Fuller when it was at its peak, but I think that’s the reality.

Mostly, I’m writing to be encouraging.  I believe that small church pastors are under-paid, under-appreciated, and under-recognized.  I am also convinced that the small church community has ideas, insights, passion, and commitment that equals any you’ll find in the big-church world.  We just don’t have the high profile forums big churches have.  I’m not down on big churches, but I don’t believe that adopting big church methods to the small church world is helpful.

I’m writing this blog to share ideas, invite your participation, and build a small church community.  One day I’d like for us to do our own small church convocation, conceived and led by small church leaders.  I have the dream that a get-together like that would be free, and draw its content from the small church pastors and leaders who participate.  We have a lot to offer each other.  What do you think?

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5 Comments

  1. I’ve been thinking lately that it can be awfully confining to be a pastor where we live. There are very few places where we can be anonymous (what is anonymity in a small town, anyway?), where we can worship without feeling ‘on guard,’ where we can talk openly about the issues we face without offending someone. Who do you talk with about the frustrating apathy and watering-down of the Gospel that takes place in the South?

    When I lived in the city, I could get those kinds of things whenever I wanted, in plentiful supply. I think this is the perfect kind of place to do that. I appreciate all your blogs, and look forward to seeing that little mark on my Google Reader tab! And I’ll be glad to venture farther if the opportunity arises…

  2. Chuck, you said you mostly write to be an encouragement. I’ll go on record saying that you fulfill that goal often. I appreciate your thoughts, comments, and how you live transparently before us (and the rest of the world) on this blog. Thanks for what you do here, and what you do for the Kingdom here and elsewhere.

  3. Let me add my thanks as well. I know from experience that while many will read a blog, not many will make comments. One of the reasons I like your blog is that we pastor in the same general area and we deal with many of the same issues and your blog has been an encouragement. I would love to see a “small church” convocation some time and would love to participtate.

  4. My apologies for being so slow in thanking you all for your comments and encouragement. I do appreciate it, and value your participation here. I often goof up, but folks like you keep me going. Thanks. — Chuck

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