Big Lessons from Little Places: Faithfulness and the Future in Small Congregations

by Kay Collier McLaughlin. Morehouse Publishing, 2015.

Mega-churches capture headlines, and small congregations seldom find themselves being respected, let alone envied by clergy or lay-people. Nevertheless, Episcopal leader and author Kay McLaughlin’s ministry experience tells her that small congregations offer relevant teachings appropriate for any sized congregation. Chapter topics include the prevailing negative attitudes and behavior toward smaller congregations despite their ubiquitous presence across the country, creative models for collaborative ministry-both lay and clergy, and a discussion of what it means to be faithful servants. McLaughlin also reviews the unique personality and character of smaller congregations and the “treasure” of close relationships, something that is typically inherent to smaller congregations. Each chapter closes with discussion ideas, personal and group reflection questions, and suggested action items. Christians from a variety of traditions will be most comfortable with this slim volume that is appropriate for Sunday School classes, judicatories, clergy, and lay-leaders.