Tag: community impact

Ministry during life’s turning points

At the end of each summer several new families move into Chatham, which is remarkable for a town of 1300 people.  These families are new faculty members at Hargrave Military Academy and Chatham Hall here in our small town.  This year, we’re going to figure out ways to officially welcome these newcomers to Chatham at this turning point in their lives.

In addition to moving, other turning points in life include marriage, family stages, job changes, divorce, and grief.  What is your church doing in any of these areas?  Do you have a ministry story to share about how you are helping others navigate life’s turning points?  Outreach magazine has asked me to do another short piece around this theme, and I’d love to hear from you.  Post a comment, or email me at chuckwarnock [at] gmail.com.  Who knows — your church might be featured in a future issue of Outreach magazine!

‘Small’ no longer means ‘small’

A long time ago, before Al Gore invented the internet, small churches were thought to be, well, small. Which really meant that small churches suffered from —

  • Lack of resources.
  • Limited reach.
  • Low quality.
  • Little impact.
  • Less appeal.

The Five Deadly L’s, I call them. But no more. Now small churches have nothing to apologize for in any of these categories, and here’s why:

  • Resources. Small churches have access to the same resources as megachurches, but may need to partner, collaborate, or join in with others to share and complement. Remember how the internet could make a small business look really big. Works for churches, too.
  • Reach. Small churches now send international missions teams, email prayer partners around the globe, and touch lives directly anywhere. Reach is no longer limited to large congregations.
  • Quality. Years ago Lyle Schaller suggested small churches take advantage of video to provide high quality teaching to their congregations. Now that is easier than ever, but it’s also easier than ever for small churches to produce quality in their own audio, video, websites, printed materials, congregational care, and ministries thanks to low-cost, low-threshold entry for technical solutions.
  • Impact. Small churches like ours are impacting their communities by partnering with others to offer arts, sports, training, help, and economic redevelopment. Church size is no longer a barrier to community impact. When our state Baptist paper reported on our community projects they titled the article, Small Church, Big Impact.
  • Appeal. See my post on the appeal of small churches in of the Long Tail of diversity and choice that many people are seeking. Not everyone wants to be a mini-member of a mega-church. Small churches appeal to the people who like opportunity for involvement and hands-on participation.

That, my friends, is why ‘small’ no longer means ‘small.’ Small, as Seth Godin says, is the new big.