20130916_132233 copyHi, and welcome to ChuckWarnock.com. I was selected by the editors of Outreach magazine in 2006, to write a post a week for 2007, under the title “Confessions of a Small-Church Pastor.” The title was not my choice, but it worked well for several years.

Now, however, it’s 2021, and I’m addressing the idea that small churches can engage with their communities and transform them with the power of love.

Debbie and I were called to Chatham Baptist Church in Chatham, Virginia 17 years ago. We live in a old Victorian house on Main Street, which is a lot busier than you might think for a town of 1200. Debbie is an artist. She says we live a life of art, writing, and encouragement. I like that.

I’m an alum of Mercer University (BA), Southwestern Baptist Seminary (MDiv), and Fuller Seminary (DMin), where my studies integrated missional church thought with social and community engagement and reconciliation.

On January 1, 2019, I became the first Minister in Residence for Small Churches for the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV). I was honored to be selected to serve as a resource to small churches and small church pastors.


My sermons are posted on this blog under the category SERMON. Sermons are also categorized by book of the Bible, so you can click on Categories for the book of the Bible you’re looking for.  For lectionary preachers, I also have categorized sermons by the Lectionary Year A, B, or C.  Again, find those categories on my Home page.

You can email me at chuckwarnock [at] gmail [dot] com.

Writing, Speaking, Conference Leadership

A book version of my DMin dissertation, The Reconciling Community: The Missional Mending of Spiritual and Social Relationships, came out in September, 2013. Previously I was contributing editor for Outreach magazine from January, 2008 through June, 2011, and wrote the Small Church, Big Idea column for each issue.

I also have written for Leadership Journal, and other Christianity Today publications:

  • Getting To Your Marketplace is the story of how we founded and grew a new church in Greensboro, NC.
  • The Bowl of Hope tells about our success in revitalizing a wonderful United Methodist Church in Tennessee.
  • Learn To Partner is in Leadership’s Spring 2007 issue. Christianity Today featured the article on their site here.
  • ChristianityToday.com posted my article, Where Is God? about the shootings at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, where 33 faculty and students died.
  • Outcomes magazine published my article on community collaboration.
  • I wrote the chapter “Deacons Leading In Church Ministry” for the book, Deacons As Leaders, now in its 5th printing. Chapter 2 details how we formed and maintained an effective deacon ministry in the church we founded, Cornerstone Baptist.

I have done church consulting and spoken at national conferences, although I have since hung up my traveling shoes. Speaking and writing includes:

  • The Billy Graham Schools of Evangelism at The Cove near Asheville, NC.
  • The National Outreach Convention for several years.
  • The Thriving Rural Communities Initiative, a program of Duke University Divinity School.
  • Keynote speaker for The City Mission of Cleveland, Ohio at their conference, “Building Without a Blueprint: Walking Alongside Others to Transform a City.”
  • And now the obligatory disclaimer: Everything here is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted (although sometimes it should be). Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of  Chatham Baptist Church or any other organization. — Chuck

51 thoughts on “About”

  1. I just stopped by and wanted to encourage you — I too am a small-church pastor. As a matter of fact we just lost a family (members) who we had been grooming for two years for leadership roles, to a local up-and-coming Mega-Church.

    Sometimes this role is bone-wearying, and other times it is incredible, but at all times it is rewarding — to watch people come into the Kingdom of our Savior is something that is truly priceless…

    I will check back when I can…

  2. As a member of a smaller congregation, I want to encourage all small church pastors that God is alive and well in our communities and He is at work changing the hearts of your congregations. Over the past year, I have seen God do extraordinary things in and through the life of our church. May God richly bless your churches for your faithful service to Him.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Dave, thanks and I agree with you that God is alive and well. That is our only hope and the only hope of large churches as well. Check back in — I’m interested in your thoughts. — Chuck

  4. I too am a pastor of a small church (or as you aplty put it “micro-church’). We average around 50 people a week. I am looking forward to “mining” your blog. It is encouraging to meet other pastors of “micro-churches.” Blessings, Kevin.

  5. Anglobaptist and Islandpastor, welcome and great to have you here. Anglobaptist, great blog. Islandpastor, let me know if you throw a blog up and I’ll check it out. Thanks, Chuck

  6. Chuck,

    I posted a blog today that you might be interested in. The topic is Wed evening services (“Still Blushing”). I have concluded it’s not an option for our congregation. If you have a moment to give it a read, I think you’ll be encouraged. Many churches are opting for forgo Wed evenings for various reasons. We have chosen to continue our Wed evening service.

    Laced with Grace,
    Jim Pruitt
    MSCC Abilene, TX
    http://jnapruitt.typepad.com (scroll down to “Still Blushing.”)

    PS: I have really enjoyed all of your sites and have been passing them on to other pastors that I call friends.

  7. Jim, thanks for the link to your blog. I like it and will be back. Thanks also for sharing my stuff with others — I appreciate it. You and I have share the same perspective on some stuff. Let’s figure out how to stay in touch. – Chuck

  8. Chuck,

    Yes, let’s do figure out a way to stay in touch. Iron sharpens iron. I blog regularly on MySpace… yes, I know, risky business. But the impact has been significant. I need to spend more time getting my blog site up to speed and ween off of MS. Looking over your sites has given me some ideas and has inspired me to learn to utilize TypePad more effectively.

    I have also been intrigued by your writings on the Church as Abbey. Just goes to show that there is very little that is new under the sun. I look forward to more interaction.

    Grace and Peace,
    Jim Pruitt aka Pastor J
    Tilted Halo Society

  9. amazing! chuck, you married michelle and me at lawndale in august 1985. cool to find you here. i linked here via the EPC z4.10 page. i look forward to connecting in with this community.
    Jeff Gardner
    Charlotte, NC

  10. Dear Chuck:

    After my morning Quiet Time today I felt guided to google ‘Celtic Abbey Churches’, since their history inspired me to establish my home as ‘The Abbey of Merton St. Ambrose’ in a subdivision in the Bay Area of San Francisco where I now live.

    This May I withdrew from parochial pastoring in Berkeley after 50 years of ministering to small churches, in order to concentrate on my own family and their neighbors. Since May I have been lying fallow. But next May when I celebrate the 50th anniversary of my priesting at the hands of Archbishop Ramsey in York Minster, I intend to celebrate a dedication and blessing of this Abbey in Martinez.

    I have always recognized the chemical fact (and metaphor) that when a solution becomes saturated it will spontaneously precipitate crystals throughout the container.

    Humankind is becoming globally saturated with Christ. Everywhere the Spirit is precipitating ‘christal souls’ ready to form households for the human children yet to be born.

    So discovering a ‘christal community’ in Main Street, Chatham, has been for me a welcome confirmation of my own intuitions. As my wife and son are gardeners and all our lawns have been grubbed up this year for veggies and dwarf fruit trees, your take on ‘Eden’ further confirms all that I have felt guided to do.

    I do not have your webskills, but over the next few weeks I intend to explore every aspect of your site to see what insights I may glean and copy for our own website.

    Meanwhile, Small is Beautiful, and as Kant wrote in 1793:

    after the (Winter) Darkness we experience Inner Light;
    after the (Spring) Light we experience Fellowship;
    and from the (Summer) Fellowship we go out
    into our neighborhoods to Harvest Justice.

    For Justice is the public face of Love.

    Wishing you and all who live in America
    a fruitful Advent; a Joyful Christmas; a Revolutionary New Year;
    and a Popular Administration that will renew its subscription
    to the Geneva Convention!!

    Shalom – Richard Mp
    The Abbey of Merton St. Ambrose, Martinez, CA.

  11. I have always beleive that a Healthy church has nothing to do truly with size. I have been pastoring for the last 13 yrs, turn around ministries. My first pastorate was a church in the inner city of Passaic, NJ, the size 38. In ten yrs it grow to around 275 in general attendace on a sunday morning. after that, the Lord lead us to a bigger ministry as Sr. Associate pastor of a church with an average attandance of around 1,200 . For the last year, we are pastors of church ( Turnaround ministry) that average around 130 to a general attendance of 425. The dynamics of a small church are unique with regards to growth. A small church, that eventually grows will depend on the health of its leadership and members. Growing heathly is a key factor.

  12. Hi

    I am very impressed by everything on this site. I’m a Christian too.

    When I return to college, I am actually starting on a regular newsletter with the school chaplain to add to my writing commitments of the college magazine, another up and coming magazine and a newspaper.

    I am 17 years old, the Youth Community Correspondent for the North and East Manchester Advertiser and member of Cleland Thom’s premier gold standard mentoring scheme.

    Check out my website: samsondada.com

  13. dear pastor chuck, i just read your letter ‘don’t quit’, because i am in despair. my wife and i recently asked for release from our pastor to begin a work that God has called an equipped us to do. iam an ordained elder and my wife is an evangelist,we have spent many years preparing for thsi work for God-we have began having weekly bible studies and the #’s are increasing and response is excellent (‘can’t wait til next week”), anyhow, i felt God leading us to begin public worship (perhaps 2x monthly), and as we don’t intend on having a house church,and have no bldg, i reached out to fellow pastors in my area as to available space to worship. i’ve gotten three very positive responses so far, and we are excited to move forward. the issue is that, our bible study group is beginning to wain. part of it is my fault, as we had a steady following on thursdays, but i had to switch to weds for one month, due to another teaching assignment, now i am trying to get back on track for thursdays, but i can’t start up public worship with my wife and myself!! is this all an attempt by the enemy to throw us off just before God starts to bless the work? help

    god Bless you, pastor mike

  14. I have no comment @ this time. I was looking on your website to see if you had an employment section. I realize a lot is volunteer help but I am sure some are on payroll and I am in search of employment. Would you direct me as to how I would be able to apply.

    Thanking you in advance.
    Darlene Paige

  15. Rev. Warnock,

    Thanks for your comments on Dr. Gushee’s recent op-ed at ABP. I hesitate to add my own comments because you summed up our contemporary needs so well. I wish we could focus all of our theological energies these next decades on finding just the balance that you articulated.

  16. Andrew, thanks for your kind words. David Gushee has identified a real problem in contemporary Baptist life. Perhaps we will find solutions to reaching others in both style and substance. We live in challenging times and Dr. Gushee is right — we need leadership, but it may come from unexpected places. -Chuck

  17. Chuck, I appreciated your article “Finding Favor With God”. I especially appreciated the respectful way in which you treated Madeline L’Engle’s Episcopal ties, and how our God used those to bring peace to her. Thank you, John Wesley (Episcopal Priest)

    1. John, thanks for your kind comments. L’Engle’s faith permeated both her life and her art, and that story was an amazing example of God at work in her family. Glad you enjoyed it. -Chuck

  18. Dear,pastor praise the Lord

    I am a church Evangelist I am looking for some supportes who willingly support our cause to carry on our visin among North Indians . I am a Hindu Convert who accepted Christ as saviour in the year 1995 and I am working among Punjabi Hindus. I have a vision to start a new ministry registered with the Government rules. I am looking for someone to help me to carry it in and pls pray for me,and help me.who will help me
    Pls, give me help some money for starting a new church in the non-christan people.
    I am short of money these days. Kindly keep this in mind and send us your reply as guided by the Holy Spirit
    With much regards and blessings to you all
    I shall be thankful to you.
    With much love .
    .your’s in christ
    Darpen masih

  19. Chuck: I enjoyed your articles. I have just started a new small church blog called smallchurchtools. I have pastored small churches for 26 years and love this ministry. God bless you in your work for Him!

  20. Chuck, my organization is planning a small church seminar for pastors of small churches in Southern California. I’ve read your recent article in Outreach Magazine and am wondering if you’d consider spending a day with these pastors in that setting (speaking, listening, deepening, empowering). If you’re interested we can work out logistics, dates, and what program elements you’d like to include. I hope to hear from you. Have a great day in Him! Mark

    1. Mark,
      It’s great to hear from you. I would be interested in exploring what you have in mind. Do you have a date set? I’m in Virginia, so that’s a long haul to California, but I would love to come your way. Actually, I’ll be speaking at the National Outreach Convention, Nov 3-5, in San Diego. Plus, I’m down to the final project stage on my DMin at Fuller and would love to spend some time on campus again, so maybe we could work something out. I look forward to hearing from you.

      Chuck Warnock
      Mobile 434.203.1448

  21. God has placed us as pastor for a small church, the First Christian Church in Weeping Water, Nebraska.

    I was ordained as a Southern Baptist. I’ve served now on staffs of 11 denominations. I am an elder in the United Methodist Church, and an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Nebraska.

    People can view lots of information about our church on
    our website–Visionquests for Joy.

    Preaching is my passion. I wrote a book called Passionate Joy (amazon.com) in which I relate my 40 years of study of joy and happiness. My church is a real challenge in a little community of 1,000 population.

    I’m so glad I found your website. Bless you.

  22. Beloved in the Lord;
    My name is pastor Joel OF JESUS MIGHTY PEACE MINISTRIES in Kenya.
    Kindly consider to minister in my church to help us reach the lost in
    this region of Africa.
    Consider to partner with me in the ministry as we tirelessly serve in
    his wide kingdom.
    I will appreciate your kind response.
    In Christ,
    pastor Joel.

  23. Serving as pastor of a small church is much harder than a large one. Mega and large church pastors just have to preach
    and be on TV, but small church pastors do most everything.

    It’s a joy to serve in a small church. And I often can volunteer to do a visionquest (revival) in churches that cannot afford a high price evangelist.

    God has a place for the thousands of small church that really love and reach the people for Christ.

  24. гиппократ диеталучшая диета минус 7 кгдиета для ляшекпрепараты способствующие сбрасыванию лишнего весаэкспрес похудениепохудение с помощью фрукта баша от далибад для снижения весаантицеллюлитный крем для занятий спортомлунная диета примерное менюдиета при похудениипохудеть владивосток луговаярезультаты похудения на кремлевской диете 10 кгкак быстро похудеть самостоятельно с помощью правильного питанияправильное питание после полосной опперацииправильное питание ребёнка 11-12летсалат для похудениядиета суп на сельдереедиета при хроническом гастрите колитеразгрузочная диета голоданиекакой должна быть диета при циррозе печени

  25. Chuck: Giberson and Stephens The Anointed is a must read for you. Christian Century had a grand review back in November of so; and you can google other takes.
    Also be looking for Charles Marsh bio of Bonhoeffer coming out this year.
    Enjoyed you 5 issues Churches will face in 2012 piece

  26. Thank you for your site. I planted a church (Okay, the Lord planted this church!) 8 years ago, and it has failed to meet my expectations. But my expectations, my Kingdom, is not the Lord’s! I wrote up an Abbey vision for the church in 2003, with gospel bridges to all of life, including worship, the arts, hospitality, mercy, and witness. I did not have a name for it. Thank you for your Abbey vision and encouragement of those of us who labor in the back alleys of the Vineyard from the World’s perspective, and your reminders that the Lord of the Harvest works in those alleys to great effect.

  27. Our small church in Nebraska attributes our growth to the Holy Spirit. We went on a Strategic Spiritual Journey which included 100 days of prayers in groups of three.

    God continues to bless us. James Evans McReynolds, pastor, Weeping Water

  28. Chuck,

    Just wanted to add my name to the list of those who appreciate your heart. As one who strives to encourage my fellow bi-vocational pastors in our association, I am grateful for what you are doing.


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