Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
There’s no question about it: God is shaking the church up good everywhere. Congregations of all sizes are struggling everywhere, and whole denominations fear for their survival. Here’s just one piece of evidence: a recent article in The Christian Century includes a disheartening graphic showing a drastic drop-off in worship attendance in mainline denominations since 2001, including mine, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In one sense the news is bad. But in another sense, the news is good, because hidden in it is God’s powerful invitation, “Trust me. Listen to me. Live by the power of my Spirit.” I believe that there are faithful ways to “be church” and “do church” for congregations of any size that prayerfully listen for God’s call and prayerfully heed it. As a small church pastor I’m certainly aiming at encouraging smaller congregations and their leaders in The Mustard Seed Journal. Nevertheless, I also hope to encourage leaders and congregations of any size that are trying to be faithful in the midst of all this shifting. It’s a seismic shift indeed, but we need to remember that Easter began with an earthquake.
For inspirational scripture passages that apply to small churches, click the Good News Texts tab at the top of the page.
For a comprehensive, annotated list of small church resources, click the Resources tab at the top of the page.