The Indispensable Guide for Smaller Churches

by David R Ray. Pilgrim Press, 2009.

Consultant David Ray has pastored numerous small churches and written extensively on it. Ray’s goal here is to help small church leaders understand and improve their churches and ministry. To that end, Ray first builds a biblical and theological foundation for his theories, shares profiles of his churches, reviews recent small church studies, and offers thirty common characteristics of small churches. The succeeding chapters focus on four ministry areas that Ray considers vital for the small church: worship, education, care of members, and mission. Specific challenges to the small church are considered next: morale, growth, finances, and leadership. Food-for-thought, practical ideas, hints, and solutions are offered throughout the book. How smaller churches think about change, the relationship between growth and health, and different pastoral leadership models are just three of the many offerings. This resource is suited for Protestant clergy and laity.