The first paragraph says it: “I love smaller churches. I’ve been serving, studying, and sharing about them for over forty years. I know that these churches can make all the difference in people’s lives and that these are increasingly hard times for them. My purpose here is to share all the wisdom and counsel I know that’s relevant and important for both today and tomorrow about the kinds of churches I know best. This is for those who also care about such churches and their place in society—pastors, lay people, students, denominational leaders, and academics.”
Here is a small theology for your foundation; relevant theory you’ll need to understand these churches; size-appropriate wisdom about worship, nurture, care-giving, mission, stewardship, morale and self-esteem, and evangelism; a look at the future of smaller churches; and a personal approach to pastoring in these small vineyards. This is full of first hand experience, the experience of many small churches, the best wisdom of the last half century and much new material, abundant resources, and a treasure trove of illustrative material. In increasingly secular times when most churches are declining, the author provides a wealth of both proven ideas and visionary thinking that offers new life to smaller churches swimming upstream.
About the Author
Smaller churches have been David Ray’s love, expertise, and mission for four decades. He’s published five of the principle books about smaller churches, provided transformative pastoral leadership for five smaller churches from Maine to California, served (part-time) on four regional denominational staffs, taught courses in smaller church life and ministry in a half dozen seminaries, and provided program leadership on small church issues for a dozen denominations throughout the U.S. and Canada. David has led several mission and retreat trips to Rwanda and Mexico, co-founded Every Dollar Feeds Kids which feeds hungry children in southern Mexico, and is currently serving three months a year as a pastor of a community church in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He’s a clergy member of Kairos Prison Ministry in Maine and lives with his wife Marianne (and Jackie Robinson, their black Lab) in mid-coast Maine. He’s available to assist smaller churches and provide program leadership on the themes and issues of this book.