God is still calling men to pastor small churches. Some of these men are seminary graduates while others are laymen raised up within their churches to lead. Regardless of their background and education, most of these men receive little training in how to lead a small church. Leadership in Small Churches provides practical guidance for first time small church pastors. I plan to use this book with men serving for the first time in a small church. It provides practical guidance on how to navigate the most common issues a pastor faces in a small church. If you pastor a small church, or if you are planning to serve as pastor in a small church, I highly recommend this book! — Jeffrey A. Clark, Wheaton College
Ben Craver and Kelly Malone have enlisted a team of fellow Baptist pastors, association leaders, and academics, all with significant pastoral experience, to create a robust resource for leaders in small churches. Their book is brimming with pastoral wisdom, real-world examples, practical strategies and solutions—all presented with passion and self-deprecating humor. Clearly, they understand and love the small church. This book will “instruct and inspire hope in both present and future leaders of small churches.”— Matthew Floding, Director of ministerial formation, Duke Divinity School, former chair, The Association for Theological Field Education
“Methodist church consultant Kennon Callahan observed that God must genuinely love small churches since he made so many of them. Callahan recognized that size does not equal strength when it comes to churches. It is possible, he argued, to lead a small, strong congregation. Lyle Schaller reminded us that small churches and large churches are not merely a matter of scale, like houses and hotels. They are more like horses and hotels. They share some common letters in their name, but the comparison ends there.
All this implies that leading a small church toward strength and ministry requires a different understanding than is commonly offered by the one-size-fits-all approaches of books on church leadership and ministry. “Successful” megachurch pastors pass on their “secrets,” and pastors of small congregations intuitively know that they cannot replicate those in their church. Kelly Malone and his team of writers have done a service for the many pastors who serve small congregations across this country. Here is customized wisdom for these faithful servants that includes every important aspect of the pastoral work in that context, including preaching, pastoral care, conflict, discipleship, missions, and age-group ministry. I heartily commend this as a handbook for pastors in smaller settings and as a textbook in colleges and seminaries preparing pastors to serve in these blessed congregations.”— Robert Creech, Truett Seminary
Leadership in Small Churches is a welcome addition to the nascent field of study about normal-sized congregations. It neither idealizes nor condescends to its subject matter. Instead, it offers sound insight and practical help to small-church leaders and those who wish to have a better understanding of the vital, but often-overlooked role of smaller congregations.— Karl Vaters, Author of Small Church Essentials