- Brian Dodd
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: 1. I learned to love pastors and how to serve them. 2. I learned about church leadership from riding with my pastor on Monday and Tuesday night visitation. 3. I learned how to teach the Bible. 4. I was able to work on my craft at a slow pace because my small church was forgiving of my mistakes. 5. I learned how to pray. 6. Thanks to Continuing Witness Training I learned how to share my faith. 7. I learned rigorous work was required to reach my full potential. 8. I learned about John Maxwell. 9. I learned about Bill Hybels. 10. I learned the importance of visiting people in hospitals. 11. I learned that to be an effective youth pastor you must also pastor the parents. 12. I learned how to organize youth services, activities and retreats. 13. I learned how to experience love because we were like a family. 14. I learned how to deal with gossip because we were like a family. 15. I learned competition is sickening to God. 16. I learned how hot the bright lights of the stage can be. 17. 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. 18. I learned how hard decisions are made. 19. I learned how to build lifelong friendships. 20. I learned I could not sing. Though I will be a worship leader in Heaven when I have my glorified body. 21. I learned the value of a visitor. 22. I learned it is almost impossible to grow without quality leadership. 23. I learned you can’t do all the work. You must build a team. 24. I learned loving people can overcome a lack of financial resources. 25. I learned generosity through the people who loved and served me as a youth pastor. 26. I learned my small tithe makes a big difference. 27. I learned bi-vocational ministry can destroy your soul if you are not careful. 28. I learned small church pastors are grossly underpaid. 29. I learned God honors faithfulness. 30. 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!