- are based in small populated areas.
- are structured or operate in ways that deter or make it difficult for people joining their congregation.
- don't have the resources; ideas, people, money, know how or attitudes to grow.
- have historically been small.
- don't believe in 'Church Growth principles' so decide to act in ways that deter their deter their congregation growing.
- are not in a traditional Lutheran area.
- have developed 'a belief' that being small is what God wants.
- don't know how to reach beyond their current members.
However whatever the reason, the reality is that there are many small congregations and small congregations operate differently to large congregations. Being small does not have to be a deterent for being disciples and sharing God's gospel.
Following are some resources that may help you as a leader in a small congregation (and if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments section, so others can benefit).
Town and Country Institute based at Gettysburg Seminary offers specialised courses online for Small Church ministries.
Small Groups Forum (sponsored by Village Missions) offers articles, discussion and help to small churches.
Presbyterian Presbytery of Kiskiminetas offers a number of resources for small church ministries in the areas of Description in a small church, worship in a small church, Leadership in a small church, strategy in a small church, revitalising a small church, ministry in a small church, Small Church institutes and programs, links to small church sites.
Small Church Music site offers music scores, lyrics, midi files, mp3s and other musical resources for small churches.
John Mark Ministries offers a range of articles relating to the small church.
smallChurch.com offers a range of articles and resources that help you better understand small churches and rural ministries; includes books, web links and conferences; helpful for information for pastors and lay leaders; and encouragement for small church ministries.
An article; A small church redefines its mission by Richard Bliese (professor at the Lutheran School of Theology)
General Board of discipleship Methodist Church offers a range of resources and information relating to the small church including events, articles and resources. Some of their resources include:
2. Biblical "Greats" for Small Church Leaders
3. Examples of Pastoral Leaders
4. The Christ-Centered Church
5. Options and Opportunities for Sharing Ministry
6. Questions for a Discussion on Mission and Ministry
7. Passion for People
8. Checking Your Church's Attitude
9. Ideas for Stewardship in Small Churches
10. Tips for Making NOW(rm) Work in Your Church
11. Assessing Your Nurture Ministries
12. More Outreach Ideas
13. More Witness Ideas
14. More Pointers on Lay Leadership Selection
15. Encouragement for Leaders in the Small Church
16. Organizing for Ministry
Episcopal Church blog for small church ministry
Transforming church article on growing a small church
With new books becoming available frequently, rather than suggest one or two books why not check out what Amazon offer (see below) in the way of resources for small membership churches. if you have used a particular book feel free to recommend or critic one of them in the comments page.