From the time I was in college until shortly after being married I was a leader in a church with an average weekly attendance of just under 100 people. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and laid the foundation for how I would lead people moving forward.
Before I get into the list, I cannot recommend enough you click HERE for information on an upcoming Breaking the 200 (Attendance) Barrier course being put on by Church Fuel. It is as good as anything I have seen and a must-have for small church pastors.
Now as promised, the following are 30 Things I Learned Leading in a Small Church:
- I learned to love pastors and how to serve them.
- I learned about church leadership from riding with my pastor on Monday and Tuesday night visitation.
- I learned how to teach the Bible.
- I was able to work on my craft at a slow pace because my small church was forgiving of my mistakes.
- I learned how to pray.
- Thanks to Continuing Witness Training, I learned how to share my faith.
- I learned rigorous work was required to reach my full potential.
- I learned about John Maxwell.
- I learned about Bill Hybels.
- I learned the importance of visiting people in hospitals.
- I learned that to be an effective youth pastor you must also pastor the parents.
- I learned how to organize youth services, activities and retreats.
- I learned how to experience love because we were like a family.
- I learned how to deal with gossip because we were like a family.
- I learned competition is sickening to God.
- I learned how hot the bright lights of the stage can be.
- I learned passion and naivety can be greatly used by God, but passion and naivety would eventually not be enough. I had to get better by improving my skills.
- I learned how hard decisions are made.
- I learned how to build lifelong friendships.
- I learned I could not sing. Though I will be a worship leader in Heaven when I have my glorified body.
- I learned the value of a visitor.
- I learned it is almost impossible to grow without quality leadership.
- I learned you can’t do all the work. You must build a team.
- I learned loving people can overcome a lack of financial resources.
- I learned generosity through the people who loved and served me as a youth pastor.
- I learned my small tithe makes a big difference.
- I learned bi-vocational ministry can destroy your soul if you are not careful.
- I learned small church pastors are grossly underpaid.
- I learned God honors faithfulness.
- I learned there are many mega-pastors in small church environments. Their church just has not caught up with them yet.
***Bonus*** I also learned you can find a great wife in a small church!
Once again, if you are in a small church environment and want to know how to break the 200 attendance barrier, click HERE.