Dean Grabill’s pastoral, educational, and leadership experience shine through in this relatively brief but potent article on small congregations. Like others, Grabill highlights the strengths of small congregations, yet he also challenges pastors to remember three vital aspects of ministry in the small congregation: the pastor’s attitude, a shared agenda between the pastor and the leadership, and congregational health and growth. Grabill offers comments, examples, and wisdom to explain the three aspects. Questions for reflection make up the section about the pastor’s attitudes. Under “a shared agenda,” Grabill says, “Wise is the pastor who takes time to listen to lay leadership and to learn the culture of that fellowship and the community in which it is located.” Under health and growth, he discusses existing relationships, loyalty and commitment, existing structure, and a church’s heritage. This article is well-written, user-friendly, and a must-read for small church pastors of various traditions.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover