“We’re just a small church.” How often have you heard that phrase said in pastoral circles, perhaps even uttered it yourself? While the focus on growth is understandable in particular contexts, it’s paramount to remember that small churches can—and they do, offer a unique and significant ministry experience as small churches. As pastors, small church contexts present many rewarding opportunities that are worth nurturing and celebrating without the pressure to become a larger church.
While larger churches often attract a lot of visibility and praise, it might feel disheartening when serving in a small church context. But it’s essential to remember—size doesn’t define impact. Discover more encouraging insights about small churches (and other small ministries) in this CCCC blog post “A small team doing big things“.
To empower pastors whose hearts are deeply engaged in ministry within smaller communities, we’re sharing three helpful resources designed to enrich your service in your Canadian church context.
1. Significant Church: Small Church Research Study
Your first tool for empowerment is the report Significant Church: Understanding the Value of the Small Evangelical Church in Canada from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. This research provides invaluable insights into the role and impact of small churches within their communities. The project involved interviews with ministry experts and small church pastors as well as a national survey of pastors. The research team defined a small church as a congregation with an average Sunday attendance of 150 or less. One of the points from the study reveals that pastors felt their formal theological education did not prepare them adequately for small church pastoral ministry, and the need for more resources tailored to this context. You can find the full report on The EFC website.
2. CCCC Webinar “Three Ways a Small Church Can Be An Effective Church“
Secondly, prepare to attend the upcoming CCCC webinar featuring Karl Vaters, author of The Grasshopper Myth, called “Three Ways a Small Church Can Be An Effective Church. His insights into small church dynamics provide fresh perspectives on leveraging your unique strengths for a more significant impact, challenging the “‘just a small church” narrative. This live webinar is offered free from CCCC, and will be available for replay on our website at no cost for CCCC members and a nominal fee for non-members.
Here is a short video invitation from Karl
3. CCCC Web Membership
The third resource is the CCCC’s Web Membership, offering a wealth of resources tailored for ministry leaders serving in very small ministries. With unrestricted access to online articles, webinars, and downloadable resources, these ministry leaders can have the information they need to thrive as a Christian charity.
Keep this in mind: despite the challenges you may face as a small church pastor, you’re not leading “just a small church.” You are a distinct community, with exceptional strengths to be embraced and shared. And, if it hasn’t been said, Happy Pastor Appreciation month. Thank you for your service to the Kingdom!