Pastor’s conferences abound, but those specifically focused on the small congregation in rural areas or small towns are rare. America’s attention has been drawn to the mega-church. However, the mean of church attendance in the nation is 75. Ninety-percent of churches are less than 350. Some 70% of churches are single-cell congregations served by a part-time, bi-vocational pastor. In a sense, this is the backbone of America’s faith.
It is often assumed that large churches are healthy and more effective. However, recent studies indicate that church health is not a size issue. And further, that small churches can be extremely effective when equipped and refocused.
This is the first multi-denomination
NC Small Church Conference of its kind.
Come and be strengthened by dynamic experienced speakers
and fellowship with others who are like-minded and in similar circumstances.
Friday & Saturday
Plenary sessions and workshop breakouts at Sunset Avenue Church of God, 900 Sunset Ave, Asheboro, NC
Cost: $50/person; $75/couple; $99/church
The conference will focus on five critical areas of concern that are paramount to the small church pastor:
- Evangelism – the church becomes a comfortable, closed, close-knit family of friends. Evangelism is left to the pastor. New people have difficulty becoming insiders. Status quo becomes an unconscious goal.
- Discipleship – the church assumes Christian values as synonymous with small-town values. It fails to see its own lack of scriptural integrity. It lacks a discipleship model that is effective.
- Church Health – the small church, with intense close relationships, is easily afflicted with family and town issues that boil over into the arena of faith – and these are not easily managed. They are minimized when Christlikeness is emphasized along with humility and grace. Small churches need models that speak to vibrant spiritual life and healthy relationships. The need includes, yet extends beyond more effective tools (praxis), to congregational life and relationships (ethos). The missional culture of the church is not on the radar screen of many pastors and perhaps, most members.
- Leadership – many pastors of small churches have never had parish leadership training. Bi-vocational, they lack opportunities to attend conferences. Many are boot-strap pastors who have little or no formal pastoral training.
- Prayer – the church is to be house of prayer. The great moment for a pastor is not standing before people, speaking, in God’s behalf; but standing before God, speaking, praying, in the people’s behalf. Church attendance cannot replace a personal relationship with God.
Two other tracks will include:
- Lay Specific – addressing the concerns of lay leaders, more effective engagement in supporting the pastor who is often bi-vocational, as well as more involvement in the mission of the church.
- Pastoral Spouse – pastoral spouses face a special set of issues that need attention.
Workshop topics will include:
- Transformational Leaders
- Leading Change
- Preaching as a Call to Action
- Managing Conflict
- Technology and the Small Church
- Youth and Children
- Leading Prayer
- Bible-based Prayer
- Couple Health in Ministry
- The Harvest Field – Measuring the Potential
- Single Vision and Multiple Tasks
- Pastoring a Town
- Small Town – No Secrets
- Help for the Pastor’s Wife
- Where’s the Walmart? – Advantages of Small
- Evangelism and Outreach
- Growing Big Churches in Small Places
- And more!