In today’s blog post, I’m going to give you a sneak peek at an excerpt from a brand new book that is about to be released. You can find it on http://lifeway.com within the next couple of weeks. If you are part of a smaller church, be encouraged! That’s normal. In his latest book, David Francis and co-author Michael Kelley help us understand how smaller churches can position themselves to grow. I hope you enjoy the except below, and I hope you’ll pick up a copy of the book when it comes out later this month!
From the book…
One of the things we love about smaller churches is that they know the value of one! One person. One baby. One preschooler. One second grader. One middle school boy. One high school girl. One college student. One young couple. One senior saint. One man who mowed the grass on Saturday. One deacon who arrived early to unlock the doors. One smocked lady in her place in the nursery, bright smile ready to greet a new little one—whether one comes or not. One couple using the resources they have to create the best experience they can for a room of kids. Another one—donuts in hand—eager to circle up with the youth group. One teacher who has prepared to lead an—or the—adult class in a discussion of the day’s Bible passage. One class that leads the way in growth. One pastor called by God—and these ones—to serve and lead this flock as shepherd-teacher. One enthusiastic person who comes alongside him as Sunday School Director.
100. One hundred times one. Half of Southern Baptist churches (over 20,000 churches) next Sunday will welcome between one and one hundred people to worship and Bible study. In another 40 percent of SBC churches, between one and two hundred will gather for fellowship and discipleship. A church that averages over 200 in Sunday School is in the top ten percent. They are “big” churches. So what’s another adjective for the small church? How about “normal”? Averaging less than 100 in attendance is not abnormal. It is remarkably normal!
Good News for Smaller Churches
Everybody doesn’t want to go to a mega-church! The reality is most people aren’t thinking about going to any church. So they go to the big church because they got a fancy postcard in the mail? Actually, no. Or because they saw the scrolling message on the fancy sign? Again, not really. Those things may have created an awareness of the church for them. Most people will not respond to those things alone. What they will respond to is an invitation. An invitation from someone they admire or trust who talks enthusiastically about how their church is making a big difference in their lives. An invitation that leads to a positive experience on that trial visit. An experience that is followed by a gracious invitation to come back again. A church of any size can do that. The advantage for a smaller church is that the first visit to the church is not like going to the supercenter. It’s more like going to the neighborhood market. It’s a lot less intimidating. In this book, we will learn how to make it even less intimidating.
One Hundred, pages 3-4