The Generosity Advantages in a Small Church

by Patrick Johnson  |  August 3, 2018
Small Church

>>>Be sure and watch this month's video clip below from Patrick Johnson on this blog topic.<<<

Over the last 20 years, the megachurch phenomenon has garnered much attention, and imitation, within the Christian community. And there’s a lot to be said for the advantages of a larger church. Great leaders, teachers, and outreach initiatives have sprung from large churches, and I have been influenced by and learned much from many of them.

Yet, in over 15 years of helping churches of all sizes develop cultures of generosity within their congregations, I’ve come to realize and appreciate the fact that smaller churches have their own set of advantages. Recently GenerousChurch launched the “5 Seasons of Generosity MasterClass,” a six-week program to develop a roadmap to unleash whole-life generosity year-round, rather than relying on fundraising to meet budget goals. A number of churches, ranging in size from 35-member church plants to churches with memberships of over 2,000 are taking part.

Reports have now begun to filter back, and we are fascinated to see how much progress small churches are making in creating cultures of generosity in such a short period of time.

More People, Longer Ramp-up Time

Why is that? Here are a couple of reasons.

First, larger churches have a lot more people, obviously, and that means a longer time to ramp up and bring people on board with any new effort. Second, larger churches have many varying priorities, which becomes evident in what I call “calendar competition.” This is much less of an issue in smaller churches. I’m working with a smaller church in Tyler, Texas, and it’s intriguing to observe how quickly they’re able to implement their Generosity Roadmap, a customized, actionable plan created in the “5 Seasons of Generosity MasterClass.” They have a better handle on setting priorities on their calendar, and because their smaller membership tends to facilitate a deeper level of community, bringing people on board has been a relatively smooth process. They’re simply building on a foundation of trust that already exists.

Pivot with Finesse

Another case in point: I know of a smaller church in Louisiana who wanted to provide relief after a devastating earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti. Almost immediately they were able to pivot, set new priorities, and send a team to help. With “boots on the ground,” they saw firsthand the magnitude of the overwhelming need, so when they returned home, they began brainstorming what their next steps might be to continue providing relief. With whole-life generosity front and center in the congregation’s heart, the church decided to conduct an online auction, and the people responded in amazing ways. What started as a $6,000 goal mushroomed into a total of $25,000 being raised for their ongoing relief efforts.

So, let me encourage you—if you’re a pastor or leader in a small church, you have a tremendous opportunity to unleash whole-life generosity and create generous disciples who go out and show the world the hands and feet of Jesus!

Please share your small church outreach experiences in the comments section below—we’d love to have you join the conversation.

And if you want to learn more on how to build a culture of generosity in your church, I would invite you to a free webinar to learn more about the “5 Seasons of Generosity MasterClass.” Learn More in our Events section. PJ

Watch This Month's Clip 

Patrck Screenshot

In this video clip, Patrick briefly shares his honest thoughts on the generosity advantages in a small church. 

Please watch and share in your network!

Recommended Resource:

Masterclass big

Over a six-week period, the GenerousChurch team leads MasterClass events around the country to help pastors and their staff develop a customized generosity roadmap for their churches to grow whole-life generosity year round based on the 5 Generosity Seasons model.

Attend a free webinar to learn more.

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