Tag: small church pastor

Happy New Year and Let’s Start Off Right!

Remember the Friday is for Freebies! giveaway each week in 2009.   Good free church stuff all for the taking.  Click here for this week’s freebie and rules.

Outreach2Go.com is now live and has some good stuff on it.  I’ll be blogging there about the “mobile effect” — how mobile technology is changing the way we work and live, and the implications for church.  Outreach2Go.com works on mobile phones, too.  Let me know what you think.  I think 2009 will be a huge year for mobile tech.

SmallchurchPROF.com is also up now.  My good friend, Jim Stovall, professor of journalism at the University of Tennessee, is building a series of PROF.com sites.  He put up SmallchurchPROF.com, and I’m the editor.  SCPROF aggregates the best of small church related stuff on the internet.  I hope you’ll consider it the go-to site for all things about small church.  Categories include News, Features, Outreach, Worship, Leadership, Service, Discipleship, and Technology.  Let me know what you think. 

That’s our line-up for 2009 so far.  The flagship blog is still right here at Confessions of a Small-Church Pastor.  I hope you’ll stick around in 2009, invite some more friends, and let’s help each other figure this out.  Happy New Year!

The 12 Days of A Small-Church Pastor’s Christmas

christmas_treeWith apologies to whomever wrote the original.

On the first day of Christmas my ministry assistant gave to me, one cup of coffee, and a broken chrismon off the chrismon tree.

On the second day of Christmas my VBS director gave to me, two nice craft projects, her resignation, and a broken chrismon off the chrismon tree.

On the third day of Christmas my Building chairman gave to me, three bills for paying, two bulbs for changing, and a broken chrismon off the chrismon tree.  

On the fourth day of Christmas my choir director gave to me, four great musicians (one played off-key), three new hymns, and a broken chrismon off the chrismon tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my missions coordinator gave to me, a missions prayer calendar from 1953, four missions goals, three unreached peoples, two missions projects, and a broken chrismon off the chrismon tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas my children’s worker gave to me, six dirty diapers, all were quite stinky, five recalled toys, four had lead in them, three melted  crayons, two volunteers, and a broken chrismon off the chrismon tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas our webguy gave to me, more bad news, six google searches, five metatags, four busted mouses, three new solutions, two more excuses, and a broken chrismon off the chrismon tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas my finance chair gave to me, some worthless stock with seven strings attached, six pastdue bills, five unhappy members, four benevolence cases, three check requests, two more reports, and a broken chrismon off the chrisom tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas our choir gave to me, nine singing lessons, eight Bach etudes, seven Gregorian chants,  six offertories, five Anglican hymns, four Gospel quartets, three string ensembles, two familiar songs, and a broken chrismon off the chrismon tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas our worship chair gave to me, a tiny baby Jesus, stolen from our own na-tiv-ity.

On the eleventh day of Christmas our seniors gave to me, lots of hugs and thank yous, much appreciation, and one broken chrismon off the chrismon tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my deacons gave to me, Spurgeon’s Complete Sermons, with some suggestions, eleven names of prospects, ten hospital visits, nine grumpy members, eight more meetings, seven budget cuts, six urgent problems, five words of encouragement, four happy faces, three days off, two new watches, and a broken chrismon off the chrismon tree.  

I hope your Christmas brings you at least as many wonderful gifts as ours has this year — no kidding!  Merry Christmas to each of you and thanks for staying with me for another year.  

Small is out, majority is in

I just read that small churches make up 90%  of the churches in America, and most of those have 75-100 in attendance.  Of course, I already knew that, but it helps to read it somewhere besides my own blog.  Which brings me to a perennial topic — looking for another way to describe small churches other than as small.  

After all, small is only one measure.  Small usually refers to attendance, not buildings.  If we were talking about buildings some small churches wouldn’t be small at all.  But, that’s kind of silly.  “Oh, we go to a big building church.  So sorry you’re attending one of those tiny building churches.”  See what I mean — silly.  

So, I’m reading some guy’s comment on some other guy’s blog last week, and the commentor says something about being from the “majority world.”  Here I’m still calling it the “third world,” which is kind of demeaning and not very PC of me.  For awhile the new jargon was “two-thirds” world, meaning developing countries.  But, this guy calls it the “majority world.”  Meaning: there’s more of us than you.  Which brings me to small churches, again.

We (small churches) are the majority.  Why not call our churches “majority churches?”  

Hi, my name is Chuck and I pastor a majority church.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  All of a sudden we’re not ecclesiastical outcasts anymore.  No more ducking at the pastors’ conference when you see Reverend I. M. Abigdeal coming.  Nope, you hold your head up, stick  out your hand, and say, “Rev, sorry you megachurch guys are in the minority.  What’s the matter, why aren’t you serving a majority church, like I am?”  

So, from now on this is “Confessions of A Majority Church Pastor.”  Now if I can just get the art department to change my blog header…

101 Outreach Ideas for Small Churches

I’m playing around here and this is the rough draft of  101 Outreach Ideas for Small Churches.  Any others you want to add?  I’d love to hear any stories you have about any outreach ideas you’ve used.  I’m working on a book, and would like to include real stories from real churches.  Time for your 15-minutes of fame!  Here’s a start —

101 Outreach Ideas for Small Churches

  1. Sponsor a school or classroom
  2. Angel Food Ministry
  3. Family movie night
  4. Super Bowl party
  5. Resource center for senior programs, etc
  6. Host a music concert
  7. Block party
  8. community festival
  9. Halloween alternative
  10. Community heroes
  11. Christmas nativity tour
  12. community garden
  13. art show
  14. build a labyrinth
  15. free hotdog lunch
  16. school supplies
  17. parents’ night out
  18. mothers morning out
  19. partner to raise money for a local cause
  20. invite former members back — homecoming
  21. themed worship
  22. recognize special groups
  23. pulpit exchange or joint worship with other congregations
  24. community vbs
  25. community thanksgiving service
  26. thanksgiving for singles, seniors, and others
  27. trunk-or-treat
  28. day camps
  29. multi-generational groups
  30. crafting, scrapbooking, quilt-making groups
  31. day trips for seniors
  32. senior adult programs, lunch
  33. talent show
  34. church yard sale
  35. blessing of the animals
  36. free carwash
  37. make a difference day
  38. martin luther king day events
  39. english as a second language
  40. computer access 
  41. computer training
  42. grief workshop
  43. grandparents day
  44. mothers day
  45. fathers day
  46. advent activities, booklet, devotion guide
  47. milestone celebrations — anniversary, debt-free, etc
  48. achievement recognition — ball teams, championships, etc
  49. election day activities
  50. county or state fair booth
  51. tradeshow booth
  52. tourism booth
  53. homebound ministry 
  54. grief ministry
  55. nursing home ministry
  56. report card rewards
  57. skate park
  58. soundcheck like event
  59. lock in
  60. lock out
  61. youth service corps
  62. door-to-door food collection
  63. christmas parties for seniors, kids, families, target groups
  64. school recognition
  65. college day
  66. financial peace courses
  67. driving courses that target very young or AARP groups
  68. election forums
  69. non-profit helping agency fair
  70. volunteer recognition and thanks
  71. social services, community action partnerships recognition
  72. literacy program
  73. addiction programs
  74. single adult programs
  75. single parent groups
  76. special needs events
  77. health screenings
  78. diet and cooking classes
  79. book discussions
  80. neighborhood inventories and assessments
  81. prayer ministry
  82. open sanctuary or prayer room
  83. daily office
  84. taize services
  85. community celebration events
  86. community unity events
  87. community newsletter or bulletin board
  88. newborn gifts
  89. newcomer welcome baskets
  90. graduate recognition
  91. community music program for children, seniors
  92. helping resource inventory and volunteer directory
  93. home blessings
  94. weddings and funerals
  95. boy scout, girl scout, b&g club sundays
  96. second sunday fellowships
  97. personalized invitation
  98. Easter, palm sunday invitations
  99. food, clothing, and cleaning supplies pantry
  100. civic club sunday
  101. family skate nights

Two blogs I always read…and one new one

I pared down my Google reader list several weeks ago.  I was trying to keep up with too many blogs, too many bloggers, and too many categories.  Now I have 5 categories — culture, emerging church, marketing, simple life, and small church — 33 subscriptions in all, down from about 100.

But, even with my reduced list, I still don’t get to read everybody everyday.  Sometimes I hit the ‘mark as read’ button and just start over the next day.  (Sorry, but it’s true.)  But, there are two blogs I always read — Seth Godin and anything Kevin Kelly writes.  Seth always has a pithy, slightly off-beat post.  Which you might expect from the guy who wrote “All Marketers Are Liars” and “Purple Cow” and so on.  Kevin Kelly is one of the founders of Wired magazine, a Christian, and an amazing thinker.

Now I’ve added one new blog to my list, Reaching the Online Generation.  The guys at CityTeam have some really good ideas about using the wired world to reach people for Christ.  Now, in my setting I don’t get to use all their ideas, but I don’t get to use all of Seth Godin’s or Kevin Kelly’s either.  I just find them interesting.  Hope you do, too.

Rolling over 30,000!

30,000 and rollin’ over We’re rolling over 30,000 page views by this weekend!

That’s right!  We’re going over 30,000 sometime in the next couple of days.  And to celebrate this milestone in the digital world, here’s what I’m gonna do —

Add me to your blogroll and I’ll add you to mine!

Now for the tiny print:  This offer is good for a limited time only, and subject to all federal, state, and local taxes.  Rebates do not apply, and the dealership reserves the right to withdraw this offer at anytime.  🙂

So send me an email or comment on this post, and I’ll add you to my blogroll for all the world to see…if you’ll do the same.  There’s lots of good stuff out there and together we’ll reach more people with more good stuff.  Okay, I’m waiting….