Guide Pastoral Care in the Small Membership Church (Ministry in the Small Membership Church)

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Some of us are NOT cut out to witness face to face, and do far more damage than good when sharing our walks with Christ with others. Some of us are much better equipped to play supporting roles. Some of us are better at quietly providing Bibles, homes, and refuges for worship. Very long deflection and refusal to own a simple problem.

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I simply refuse to agree with you that a church should sit and get stagnant. This will be my last response as it seems you have dug your feet pretty deep into your defense and it is not a good use of my time to continue the conversation. Every Christian is called to be a minister and an evangelist….

Not sure why you disagree with that either. I never disagreed to your PS.

I just happen to believe that there are many missions and styles that contribute to that purpose. A youth group 4 from a 50 member church can pass out 4, Bibles in Guatemala and not grow a single member back home.

Pastoral Care in the Small Membership Church (Ministry in the Small Membership Church)

Some churches have big programs to help the elderly and infirmed, as well as the incarcerated. The goal is to foster and create opportunities for people to know about the Word of God and come to know Christ. Pushing a church to grow past is not really superior to doing ecumenical missions that have a very high probability of helping different churches grow by 2.

What I have thought over the years is a lack of strategic planning when it comes to hiring the next person. I believe it needs to be a generalist. Someone who can work in several areas at once.

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Back in the day the second position would be a youth pastor. The church would grow by another 75 people, but not enough to add a third staff member and continue to grow. It couls be just that simple as well. Yours are all noteworthy and true Carey.

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Just throwing in another factor in my opinion. Blessings, Dave. Great question. I think it often has to do with the entire community the church serves. What are the demographics of the area? Some areas might be terribly undeserved in every respect, and any direction you go can lead to growth. Some areas might be very culturally segregated by race, economic class, etc. Is your intent to go with the flow, or do something different and less segregated?

I could go on hours with things to consider. When you realize the challenges and opportunities of the entire community, it can shine a light on the type of ministers and pastors to seek out and hire. What I mean is his people repenting of their sin, humbling themselves before him, and having him raise them up.

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It is grace from top to bottom. And when his people humble themselves, repent and seek the Lord, he blesses. Isaiah 58 is a great example of what I am talking about. And yet, God tells them why he does not answer them, hear them, or acknowledge what they are doing. He says in v. But if they would repent of these things, this is what he promised he would do for them in v.

And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched place and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in. Now that is what the church needs! And that is what would cause the church to explode in America. And once he does, we will have to apply all this stuff just to minister to the multitudes who are being transformed by his grace!

Dean…you are so right.

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The basis for all true growth in the Kingdom is reliance on God. With it, you have the foundation on which to apply the skill that often makes our effectiveness greater. Thank you! Ephesians Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. We should be raising up other pastors to help with the work of the Lord.

One main thing we should be doing is discipling, to many think the church is a one man show, the body is made up of many parts and each has its purpose. So the alternative is to raise up other pastors to help with the ministry. Laypersons can be trained to do many other jobs, but there are limits. If these small churches raise up other pastors, which often they do, then these new pastors are called to serve other congregations, fulfilling the Great Commission.

The church I currently attend has three pastors. All of them preach, though their qualifications can be labeled in ascending order. The second eldest one has several masters degrees. Many in the congregation consider him the best preacher though he has stepped aside to let the youngest pastor preach 3 Sundays a month. These are the dynamics in the pulpit, not to mention the behind the scenes with church planning, decision making, and accountability and prayer partners. They also split their time meeting one-on-one with the different families in the church. They can do a lot and still have time to be with their families, which is a benefit to having responsible brothers right along side of them.

The requirements for doing funerals vary widely from state to state. In some states, literally anybody can officiate a wedding. The link did not work. What is the book? Sorry Gary. The link still works on my end. Gary…thanks for the Tim Keller reference. I had heard about it but never read it. So good! How would prayer not fix all these things? Violence in the streets rough.

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If that were true, I could probably, by faith, have Lamentations and Numbers memorized! A lot of people want to be a servant to the Most High God. I get the feeling a lot of the time Paul and the other Apostles looked like fools to their followers. Always having to take the low road and look weak. I never thought before I became a Christian that credibility with the world was earned with a flogging stick or actual chains.

Not fuzzy diamond lined bracelets but actual chains. Good stuff. I especially resonate with empowering volunteers. Hi Carey, thanks so much for this article. I definitely agree with your first 4 points so much! It was a bit disheartening to learn over the years that no matter the suggestions or desires from the congregation and even the volunteer experience and leadership some had, they were not used or else it was too late like 5 years later for something to come forth from it.

BOTH are needed. I flip-flop between wanting to go to a church that is a smaller community both on Sunday and every other day of the week, to a large church that I can disappear in and not volunteer ever again. For 5, we had the opposite problem, which is why I felt the need to pull away. And as someone mentioned below, I definitely miss the salvation message being preached. Although small, do you think these churches still need it in some way?

Thanks for this Alyssa…I appreciate your perceptive and empathize with your frustration. As to the Gospel message. I enjoyed your article.

The you for sharing it. I would like to add, though, that some of this could be attributed to resource constraints, both financial, and lack of skills and knowledge. What if we turned this problem around and looked at it from a different angle? Could we shift this paradigm? I think a lot people who attend church want a small, intimate feel. Maybe , or is just right for their needs. Could we look at this in a different way?