| “Beyond Survival for the Small Church”
- a selected bibliography 10/11
“Fulfilling the Great Commission” by Claude Hamilton & E. Payne Beazley
“10 Things You Can Do right Now to Reduce Anxiety in Your Congregation” by Susan Beaumont.
“Entering the World of the Small Church” by Anthony Pappas.
“Hard Times Leadership: Discerning the Spiritual Challenges” by Frederick Schmidt.
“A Place that Offers Life” by Daniel P. Smith & Mary K. Sellon
“Where Are We?” by Jeffrey D. Jones
“Who is Visiting Small Churches these Days?” Lewis A. Parks,
“Leading Ideas” September 24, 2008.
Becoming a Blessed Church: Forming a Church of Spiritual Purpose, Presence, and Power. Graham Standish. Alban. Focuses on the theological underpinnings for faithful vitality.
The Once and Future Church: Reinventing the Congregation for a New Mission Frontier. Loren Mead. Alban. A groundbreaking book for its day in alerting the church that cultural assumptions from the past no longer hold and that a new age is dawning.
Holy Conversations: Strategic Planning as a Spiritual Practice for Congregations. Gil Rendle and Alice Mann. Alban. Guidelines on holding congregational conversations about mission, values, purpose.
Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What, Peter L Steinke, Alban. Systems understandings and tools for leadership that challenges rather than focuses on survival; difference between leadership of Aaron and Moses
Discerning Your Congregation’s Future: A Strategic and Spiritual Approach. Roy M Oswald and Robert E. Friedrich, Jr. Alban. Theory plus strategies for leading a discernment process in a congregation to gain self-awareness, identification of norms and values, goals and priorities. Appendix D on ”How to Minister Effectively in Family, Pastoral, Program and Corporate Sized Churches” offers understanding about expectations of the pastor based on size of congregation.
Entering the World of the Small Church: A Guide for Leaders. Anthony G Pappas, Alban Publication. Motivating change and growth by mobilizing the natural strengths of small churches, utilizing the folk mentality and relational skills.
Pathways to Renewal: Practical Steps for Congregations. Daniel P. Smith and Mary K. Sellon. Alban. Condenses various transformation/revitalization approaches into basic principles.
Unwrapping Our Gifts. Ron Farr. www.laityempowerment.com An excellent Bible study and discussion guide for helping a congregation identify their spiritual gifts and the church can enlist these gifts for mission and mission. Both leader and participant guides available.
The Big Small Church Book, David Ray. Pilgrim Press. An overview on aspects of theory, worship, education, caring, mission, maintenance, shepherding the flock in the small membership church.
Making the Small Church Effective, Carl Dudley. Abingdon. Groundbreaking work in 1978 about the small church. “In a big world the small church has remained intimate. in a fast world the small church has been STEADY In an expensive world, the small church has remained PLAIN. In a complex world, the small church has remained SIMPLE. In a rational world the small church has kept FEELING. In a mobile world, the small church has been an ANCHOR. In an anonymous world. the small church CALLS US BY NAME.”
Evangelism in the Small Church. James E. Cushmann, CTS Press. Utilizes insights from church size theory and the culture of small membership churches to give specific pointers on outreach.
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, Robert Schnase, Abingdon Press. Bible study, discussion guide, and commentary about spiritual practices of radical hospitality, passionate worship, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission and service, and extravagant generosity.
booklets through pcusa.org:
Stepping Out in Faith tells the stories of nine smaller membership churches that have journeyed on a path leading to transformed congregational life — from the perspective of the congregation and pastor. Spiritual discernment, changing demographics, pastoral leadership and church building issues are addressed. Discussion questions follow each story and the resource concludes with a Bible study. PDS #23316-09-001
Spiritual Vitality through Cooperative Ministry, by Diana Stephen. Produced by the Small Church and Community Ministry Office, Evangelism and Church Growth of the PCUSA. Various models for doing cooperative ministry plus a 5-session Bible study with discussion questions to guide a congregational discernment process. PDS #23316-08-001
on the lighter side:
The Whole Truth (About Everything Related to the Church in Twelve Pages, If You Don’t Count the Introduction and the Conclusion), Loren. B. Mead, Alban Publication. A humorous way of keeping the seriousness of church work in perspective.
Philip Gulley, author – his “Harmony” series of a Quaker pastor in Indiana and his “Porch Talk” books
Lynne Hinton, author - her series of books that include Friendship Cake and Forever Friends, about a UCC clergywoman serving a small church in North Carolina
Jan Karon, author - her Mitford series books about an Episcopal priest in New England
Michael Lindvall, author - his Good News from North Haven about a Presbyterian pastor in upstate New York
e-groups, networks, workshops and training:
Small Church and Communities Ministry Network www.pcusa.org/small church;
Alban Institute www.alban.org; Center for Congregations www.centerforcongregations.org;
Center for Parish Development www.missionalchurch.org.;
Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary www.churchleadership.org;
Dave King & Linda Kuhn of Sand Bur Consulting www.sandburconsulting.com;
Wisconsin Council of Churches www.wichurches.org