Wednesday, May 3, 2017

How Healthy Small Churches Can Help Each Other

I am a member of a small church. On a typical Sunday Embark Church has less than 50 in worship. We are a young church, both in our history and in the age of our average attenders. We started having public worship three years ago and currently worship in the community room at the local YMCA. Our congregation is made up of young families with lots of children. In fact, many Sundays we have more children than adults. It is an energetic, enthusiastic, lively church. But one thing we lack is mature leaders. We have some, thankfully, but not nearly enough for a church trying to fulfill the call of God to reach our community for Christ.

That is where another small church comes into the story. About twenty miles from our location another small church meets. Rice Memorial Baptist Church is an older, more established congregation, both in terms of how long their church has existed as well as in the average age of their typical attendees. They have maturity. They have experience. They know how to do so many things that we are still figuring out. And because most of their members do not have young children living at home, they have more time to lead than our families with small children under tow.

Our two small churches have entered into a year-long partnership. One church offers energy and youth. The other offers maturity and wisdom. The two together are powerful. 

As the number of mega-churches rise across the nation, if small churches are going to remain healthy and vibrant, they are going to have to consider partnerships like this. We can do more together than we can alone, and every church -- no matter how small -- has something significant to offer the larger body of Christ.

If you are in a small church, don’t be discouraged. Look for innovative ways to leverage your strengths and partner with other small churches around you to reach your community with the Gospel of Christ. 


Dr. Terry W. Dorsett is an author and Christian leader in New England. He is a happy husband, proud father, adoring grandfather and thankful cancer survivor. You can find out more about his writings at:


  1. Great post, we have been doing this in McCormick, SC on a regular basis.... Will do so again this Thursday for the National Day of Prayer

    1. Thanks John. And keep up the great work of partnering.

  2. Something to seriously consider. This idea has been on my mind for quite some time now.

  3. This is great! Thanks Terry

  4. Hey that's a nice
    Idea. Hang in there don't give up!!!

  5. Clifford JeffreyMay 3, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    Excellent article. This group is one of the ways we small church pastors leverage.

  6. What I enjoyed the most about being in a small Baptist Association were the quarterly associational meetings, where each church got to host. Powerful gatherings!