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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

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Pastor and Leadership journal editor shows how small churches are uniquely equipped for success in today's culture, offering encouragement and help to pastors and leaders.
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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.
Aug 11, 2012 Debbi added it
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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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“The overwhelming majority of pastors are living this second story, the narrative of obscurity. According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, there are 177,000 churches in America with fewer than 100 weekly worshipers and another 105,000 churches that see between 100 and 500 in attendance each week. On the other hand, there are only 19,000 churches – or 6 percent of the total – with more than 500 attendees. That means that if there were 100 churches in your town, 94 of them would have 500 or fewer attendees, and only six would have more than 500. Mega-churches (regular attendance over 2,000) make up less than one half of one percent of churches in America. The narrative of success may be the one people write books about, but it is not the typical one. We have allowed the ministry experience of 6 percent of pastors to become the standard by which the remaining 94 percent of us judge ourselves.” 0 likes
“These insights should adjust our mental image of the size and success of the early church. The three thousand that responded to Peter’s message were dispersed over an area twice the size of Texas and separated by the Mediterranean Sea. Pentecost may have been the first mass revival in history, but it did not create the first mega-church. Instead, Acts 2 records the birth of many small – even micro – congregations.” 0 likes
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