Over time, I’ve become convinced that these distinctive strengths ought to be the starting point for developing worship resources and training pastors. What could worship look like if we explored these gifts rather than tried to fill holes? Could something new flourish?
I believe the answer is a clear and hope-full yes! My path to this answer looks more like a scrawling circle than a straight line. I grew up in a small town. I was raised by a conspiracy of loving Methodists in a small church. And I could not wait to run as far away as possible, as quickly as possible. It took several degrees and more than a decade of higher education to fall in love again with the patterns and practices of small congregations. Once back, I was hooked.
There is something urgent about this work—and not simply because small congregations across denominations are stressed and closing. This is also a time of immense change and transition in the Church. During such times, we need more models for doing church, not fewer. We need our distinctive creatures that somehow work differently. We need their innovation, their possibilities, and their reach into the Kingdom of God.
I welcome your passion and collaboration along the way.