Imagining the Small Church: Celebrating a Simpler Path

by Steve Willis. Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.
Large imagining the small church

Small church pastor Steve Willis’ work reads like a love story between him and the small church, between God and the small church, and between the small church and its leaders and members. Yet Willis' work is not sentimental or without a prophetic voice. It is an honest, candid, and realistic look at the small congregation and its “strengths and skills,” such as “simplicity,” authentic “belonging,” and relationship with the land and God’s creation. Willis is not a milquetoast; he discusses the challenges of the small church, such as limited financial and human resources. Nevertheless, Willis sees hope for mainline denominations because of their small congregations who have somehow managed to survive and often thrive despite immense cultural shifts. Beautifully written poignant stories of small church Christian life add to the depth and spirituality of the book. Mainline Christians will likely feel most at home with Willis’ work.