However, most of the ministry models used by large, urban churches do not ﬁt the context of smaller churches, nor are they feasible in more rural areas or small towns. Few resources are being developed to help small churches and churches in rural areas impact their changing communities. Though some small churches may question the validity of some of these innovative outreach methods, for the moment, let us assume that since churches are led by godly, Spirit-ﬁlled individuals who pray through their decisions, that these methods are appropriate in the right context. Even if we all agree with that assumption, the majority of churches in North America are too small to do those specific types of things eﬀectively. Regardless of available resources, small churches must not abandon the next generation to a life of spiritual and emotional pain without the hope that faith in Jesus Christ brings. Small churches must not abandon the next generation to an eternity in hell because the church cannot aﬀord a Starbucks in the lobby or a laser light machine in the sanctuary. Small churches must ﬁnd a way to reach the emerging generations. Small churches will have to learn new approaches without discarding their core values or theological distinctives. This will be a challenge, but it can be done.
An excerpt from Terry Dorsett’s book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, published by CrossBooks, a division of Lifeway.