A Small N.C. Church Reaches Out in Big Ways

by Yonat Shimron. Faith & Leadership. Accessed April 14, 2017.

Are you part of a small congregation? According to the National Congregations Study, most congregations are small. The median congregation has 75 regularly participating people. There are all kinds of resources designed to help leaders increase the number of participants in small congregations. What about a resource that helps a leader appreciate the unique nature of a particular small congregation? This is an article about Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Haw River, North Carolina. The congregation has about 70 participants. That number, however, doesn’t tell the full story. During the week, the parish hall is open to children and volunteers attending to homework. A plot of land behind the sanctuary hosts a community garden. During Advent, community families that are struggling are adopted and showered with gifts. This article describes the specific activities that make this small congregation a place of largesse. As a reader, don’t try to copy Saint Andrew’s. Think instead about how your small congregation can love the community and expand outreach that makes sense to your particular setting. The article ends with questions to consider. For example, “What makes your church distinctive, not in architecture or design, but in its ministry?” Read the article. Share it with two other people. See where the conversation goes.