Encouragement to the Small Church Pastor

I’m an associate pastor of a church of around 200-250 people.  Maybe you are at a larger church, but maybe you are like me and at a smaller church, with a youth group of teens with an attendance in the “teens”.  Your temptations may be to compare or envy other groups, to allow the enemy to put jealousy in your heart for the large numbers, the bigger budget, and the bump in salary.  Please, don’t let your heart be troubled.  So sit back in your small office, in your small church, with your small cup of coffee…and allow God to encourage you today with these things…

Relationships

You have the advantage of really knowing your students.  Sure, you are working hard at growth and reaching the lost…but as you grow, be thankful for the opportunity to be able to build relationships with your students.  Jesus was able to take his 12 and build the church, maybe you have just 12 in your youth group…build the church with them!!

Brothers & Sisters

It may seem like everyone in your church is related somehow…which may be true…but maybe it is because you are able to build a family atmosphere much easier in a smaller church.  Use that by following Titus 2!  Let the fathers and older men build into the young men.  Let the mothers and older ladies build into the younger ladies.  How?  Provide opportunities to mentor – allow the teens to come on men’s retreats.  Allow the young people to serve the elderly.  These connections can be easier in your small church context.

Compared to most, you are a mega-church!

In most countries, missionaries start churches with just a few.  Approximately 85% of churches in America have less than 200 people.  60% of churches are under 100 people. The average size congregation in US is 89 people, according to The Barna Group.  Have you ever made a drive in the country and discovered a church every few miles that is the size of a four bedroom house.  God is using small churches all across our great country to reach & teach!

Now, please don’t take this as excuses for not wanting to grow.  God has called us to GO and make disciples.  My point is to not complain about your attendance chart, but to rejoice in those that are on the chart itself…and to not “grow weary in well-doing”.  Keep building relationships, producing disciples, and reaching the lost.  You may have a small army like Gideon, but you can do some great things.

Hope this encourages you today.  God bless.

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