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The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
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The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Brandon O'Brien helps pastors and church leaders understand that a smaller church is sometimes better than a big one. He demonstrates the strengths of small congregations, including that today's church "shoppers" want services that are local, personal, and intimate. Also, small churches provide space to nurture close relationships across age and lifestyle barriers, and the ...more
Paperback, 171 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Bethany House Publishers
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A revolution in how we look at what it means to be a small church, and since he is defining "small" as under 300, he is speaking for most churches. This really opened my mind about the purpose of my own and other small congregations. A breath of fresh air.

Note to my liberal colleagues, O'Brien is a conservative Christian, which I feel doesn't detract from his excellent thinking and years of experience as a church pastor. He does come close saying that homosexuality is unchristian at one point, s
John Lucy
Anyone in a small church should read this book. It's a quick, confidence-boosting book about the qualities that all small churches naturally have that are often overlooked or purposely forgotten. Instead of overlooking these qualities and trying to act like a megachurch, O'Brien argues, small churches should accept and build upon the natural characteristics of a small church. Growth should be a non-factor as long as we are acting like a church, and indeed the small church is extra churchy.

At first, this book might sound like it's making excuses for being ineffective. But, it actually makes a strong case that a small church holds many inherent advantages over a large church that's doing real and effective ministry.

Interestingly, I have been simultaneously reading another book that lays out strategies and structures for large churches to employ in order to build authentic community. But "the strategically small church" is ready-made to accomplish this already!

Rather than focusing
The Stategically Small Church is a refreshing book. It affirms the small church in its smallness. Not the ineffective, uncaring smallness that prays for “me and my four, and no more”. It affirms the fact that smallness isn't a bad thing, but can be strategically used to honor God and minister to others.
In the Christian world bigger seems to be better. It seems that we have bought into the world's idea that size equals worth. O'Brien counters that with the fact that a small church may not be able
Joe Cassada
Brandon J. O'Brien is a pastor of a relatively small church. He is also a pastor with whom I would have many, many theological disagreements. Which is why I was surprised that so much of what he said resonated with me - perhaps because I also pastor a small church.

In a day and age when the mega-church is presented as the ideal ministry model, and celebrity pastors crowd the conference scene and monopolize American Christianity's attention, and small churches are viewed as not reaching their pote
Pastor O'Brien understands that the success of a church cannot be measured by numbers - attendants, offerings, buildings, square feet... On the contrary, it is how much the congregation affects the Kingdom of God and gives its members the opportunity of accountability, participation, spiritual growth, intimacy and belonging. Therefore, these would be the indicators of how effective a church is and would allow its members to be confident in their own strengths, impact their community and provide ...more
Really couldn't decide whether this book deserved 3 or 4 stars. Guess I would give it a 3 1/2. Some valuable insights, but felt like he still used the larger & "cooler" churches as examples--which bothered me. That said, I agreed with much of what was written about the intergenerational ministry potential of the smaller church, as well as opportunities for leadership development. I suppose we have discovered much of this at City's Edge, and it bothers me a bit that I didn't write this book : ...more
What a thoughtful, provocative, encouraging book. I really think anyone involved in church ministry should read this.
Interesting perspective on the "small" church and it's strengths
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Brandon J. O'Brien (M.A., Wheaton College Graduate School) is a part-time instructor of religion at the College of DuPage and editor-at-large for Leadership journal with "Christianity Today." He is scheduled to complete his doctoral work in theological studies in 2012. O'Brien has previously published "The Strategically Small Church" (Bethany House, 2010).
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