Want a thriving small church? Concentrate on these four basics.
1. Relationships are most important. Develop personal and strong relationships with the people. Be appropriately transparent and vulnerable. You want them to know and like you, not just “the pastor.” Be the real you, not a pastoral version of yourself. When they know you and like you, they will trust you, which is the currency of leadership.
2. The ministries of your church should reflect the gifting of your people. Don’t just create a list of ministries you think your church should have. As you get to know your people, allow the ministries of your church to grow out of their gifts, talents and abilities. When this happens, your ministries are effective because your people are both gifted and passionate. Making disciples is the mission of every church, but the methods we use to approach and accomplish it depend on the people we have in our church.
3. Speak the language of your community well. What does your local culture use to communicate: email, bulletins, websites, posters, brochures, texting, snail mail? Communicate well with high quality. The size of your church will not be as important as the quality of your church. Speak the language of your community, but speak it with excellence.
4. You must thrive as the leader. Stay connected with other leaders both online and in your local area. Your church is only as healthy as its leader. If you’re not growing and learning, your church can’t take that next step. Take care of yourself, and God will take care of your church.
Jeff Keady and Jonny Craig, of Dover Church in Orange City, Iowa, are pastors, leaders, bloggers, podcasters and encouragers of small churches. Find them at 200Churches.com.