Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reaching the Next Generation - Guest Post by Dave Jacobs

Though many small churches are struggling to reach their changing communities, other small churches are doing an amazing job of impacting people for Christ in spite of limited resources and manpower. We are finally beginning to see a change in how leaders of mission organizations, denominations, and training schools perceive the small church. Books, magazine articles, and online voices are appearing that acknowledge the value healthy small churches have in America. After decades of fascination with large churches and sprawling mega-campuses, especially in suburbs of metropolitan areas, some leaders are brave enough to ask: Is it only bigger churches that can lead the way in kingdom expansion, or can small churches do so as well? Is bigger always better?

My friend Terry Dorsett is one of the few to wave the flag for small churches, believing they have something to teach the broader kingdom of God about how church can be done effectively. After I met Terry online in 2010, we began to exchange ideas and articles that focused on our mutual interest in helping smaller churches, and the pastors who serve them, to be healthier. Now seldom a week that goes by when we do not touch base with each other. I consider him a friend and kindred spirit. I am so grateful for the enthusiastic encouragement and resources Terry brings to pastors of smaller churches.

Smaller churches often focus on what they cannot do rather than on what they can do.  They tend to focus on their perceived weaknesses rather than on their obvious strengths. 
This creates a self-defeating cycle where small churches tend to say, “If we were just a little larger, we could do so much more.” Through his blog (, as well as his books, Terry seeks to help smaller churches overcome this tendency. In Terry's first book, Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church, readers learned that smaller churches can be healthy and thrive even without a fully funded pastor by mastering the art of delegation. Now, with his second book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, Terry demonstrates how the small church, especially those in small towns and rural areas, can be effective in winning the next generation for Christ.

It has been my experience, both as a pastor for thirty years and now as a consultant and coach specializing in smaller congregations, that there is nothing a larger church can do that a smaller church is unable to do. Actually, some studies claim a smaller church does many things better than their larger friends. But it is not whether the smaller church or the larger church is better. What is important is that every church, regardless of size, fulfills the call God has for them in the community where God has placed them. This book, though focused on smaller churches in small towns and rural areas, actually offers principles and ideas that will be helpful to any size of church in any area.

Those who are leaders in smaller churches will find this book brimming with helpful ideas. Those who are leaders in larger churches will find this book equally helpful. God has given each church everything it needs to do the things He has called those churches to do. Everything! We just need to get busy doing it.
As you read Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, do so carefully and prayerfully. The Holy Spirit is about to share with you hope and strategies that will help your church, regardless of size, have a dynamic impact upon the next generation.

Dave Jacobs,
Founder of Small Church Pastor, Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment