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Encouragement for the Small Church

Small is normal. If you lead a small church, or coach those who lead small churches, or care about the long-term ministry fruitfulness of a particular small church, here is a wonderful (if sometimes surprising) truth:

In God’s gracious design and providence, small is normal.

If you need serious encouragement, perhaps you’ve found the place.

Insights from the Coal Face

Imagine drawing together clusters of experienced small-church pastors, half a dozen at a time, and posing a single question:

How many distinct answers might they offer? As informants, how candid might these pastors be? To what extent might their reported challenges overlap? Might there even be, say, a Top 2 or Top 7 — challenges commonly encountered by almost all small-church pastors in 21st century, suburban Sydney? Further, might there be substantial theological resources to mould and spur the faithful pastor’s heart?

This was the special focus at the heart of my recent doctoral research project. To download my dissertation, please enter your contact details below.

Note well! This central question and the attendant findings are spelt out in Chapter 3.

If you need serious encouragement as you love, lead, and feed the small church entrusted to you, I pray this pilot research might help boost your confidence in Christ and fruitfulness in ministry.

Stephen Anderson

Theological and sociological insights from my research among (and originally for) rectors entrusted with leading ordinary, small churches in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney