Inside the Small Church

(Anthony G. Pappas). Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

Tony Pappas, an Area Minister for the Old Colony Association of the American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts, has compiled thirty brief essays from his newsletter, “The Five Stones” and other articles. The small church in America can greatly benefit from incorporating the author’s four L’s: Leading, Loving, Largening, and Leaving. The first section in Pappas’s book, Leading the Small the Church, provides practical guides as well as concerns expressed by bi-vocational pastors. Loving in the small church holds up the giftedness so often latent in the small congregation and desperately needs to be actualized. Pappas’ chapter on “largening” —or building the capacity of the small church#0151;includes essays from a variety of experts with sound advice on stewardship and evangelism. Finally, the book presents potent ideas for strengthening the mission of the small congregation—which too often is given a back seat or ignored. This is an indispensable resource for small-church leaders to stimulate ‘leading, loving, largening, and leaving’ in their congregations.