Small church ministry

The current worldwide coronavirus crisis should cause grave concern for everyone. It gives us pause to reflect on our mortality and how gingerly our lives teeter on the precipice between life and death at every moment.

The church should especially consider its place in the world and how it ministers to those in need–in need of the gospel and in need of acts of mercy. Sadly, I am afraid many congregations are not prepared for this moment, either theologically or otherwise. How many congregations were engaged with their communities and members, and prepared to minister despite the separation that “social distancing” has brought us?

I don’t have magic answers, but I do have some suggestions about how our churches need to be effectively involved in the lives of those around us. This post begins a series on small church ministry. For my purposes, I am defining small churches as those having 100 members or less, and I am assuming they are found mostly in small towns and rural areas. This series should be helpful to churches of various traditions and church leaders, whether pastors, elders, deacons, trustees, or those given some other title.

In this series, I will reflect on the biblical model of ministry of the church as well as provide practical applications and suggestions. I hope this will be helpful to someone; perhaps the pastor of a small church will find this useful, as I would have done in similar circumstances.

This article is part 1 of 2 in the series Small Church Ministry.

What’s your plan, pastor?

What’s your plan, pastor?

As some of the COVID restrictions fall away, what’s your plan for ministering to your flock? Have you learned some things about ministry over the past year? Have you been reminded of important things you had been overlooking?

Did you have a sudden realization that there are aged, infirm, and other homebound people among your flock? Did you notice that the usual methods of communication weren’t reaching all of your people?

Perhaps you received a wake-up call. Maybe some problem was amplified in a way that you finally had to deal with it—or at least recognize its existence.

What’s your plan, pastor?

Will you fall into your old habits? If those are good spiritual practices, that’s great! But will you find new ways (or renew the older ways) of staying in touch with the people of your congregation? Will you reach out to those who are alone and can’t attend your services?

Are you ready to pastor a congregation with fewer people, giving fewer dollars, attending fewer activities? Are you ready to engage in Biblical preaching, sound teaching, and meaningful pastoral care in a greater degree than ever before?

What will be different in a good way? What will be different that will be hard to accept?


What’s your plan, pastor?

This article is part 2 of 2 in the series Small Church Ministry.