Sometimes in a small church, we feel like we just can’ do lots of ministry like a big church. And you know what, that’s really true. In fact no church can just copy the ministry of another regardless of size. God uses all sized churches (80% or our churches across the country run under 200 on Sunday) to have huge impact for the Kingdom.
Guest blogger Deb Douglas has served in various sized churches, from very small to quite large. She knows what it is to do ministry in a small church. Enjoy her thoughts today as she shares how small churches can make a difference! Then refer Women Reaching Women which includes the chapter, Small Church Issues.
A little taste of chocolate can have a great big impact. So can a small church! Small churches face unique challenges, but there is also a unique purpose for each small church ministry. Each church and each women’s ministry has an opportunity to reach the women in their area of influence.
Here are some little tastes to get you thinking in a new way:
1. Redefine success.
Success is not how many people attend an event or study, but how each attendee’s life is transformed! Focus on changed lives instead of numbers! Join with other churches to host special events or weekly Bible studies. Note: Check with your pastor before entering into a partnership with another church. Remember he is the shepherd God has placed over your church!
2. Focus on what you do well.
All women’s ministries have one thing they do exceptionally well. What are you doing well? Spend your energy on that ministry. Ministries do not have to compete with other churches for the number of programs or events! Focus on what God has gifted your ministry to do well. One size does not fit all and that is a good thing!
3. Seek out opportunities to impact your community in big ways.
Look for ministry needs your women can meet. Show the love of Christ by meeting those needs.
· Give out free water at ball tournaments or county fairs.
· Rake leaves for homebound persons.
· Make quilts for a homeless shelter.
· Lead Bible studies in assisted living communities.
· Concentrate on making women feel like family by inviting them to join in the preparation for events.
4. Do things well.
A well put together ministry attracts others to join. You do not have to spend a lot of money to achieve excellence. Try these ministry stretchers:
· Have fund raisers.
· Hand-deliver invitations to events and Bible studies to add a personal touch to the invitation!
· Purchase decorations and paper products at clearance sales or outlets.
· Shop garage sales and second hand stores for decorations.
· Share your prettiest objects from home or borrow from others! Hint: Turn off the lights and use candles with mirrors to completely change the atmosphere of a less than perfect setting.
· Grow! Sounds simple doesn’t it? But growing the ministry is hard work. It requires being intentional in building relationships with women, a consistent effort, and dedication to reach women. Remember, ministry is hard work for all churches!
To encourage growth, provide incentives to your women who invite others to attend. Give a price break for Bible study members who bring a friend.
There are women everywhere desiring close relationships: a relationship with Christ and relationships with other women. They are waiting to be invited. Seek to discover how these women in your area can be reached. A small church environment can be welcoming and less threatening than a larger church for some women. Use the warm, cozy atmosphere as a plus!
One size does not fit all, a good thing? Yes! Embrace your uniqueness, your purpose, and your size!
Dr. Deb Douglas, is the Minister to Women, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA and also serves as one of our LifeWay Ministry Multipliers. Deb launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is the Minister to Women at FBC Bossier City and a conference/retreat speaker, strategic planning consultant, and freelance writer. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts in Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, and mother-in-law to Emily.