Over the past month I have had a real focus on small churches. I had the privilege of attending and presenting two workshops at the Uniting Churches of Aotearoa New Zealand (UCANZ) Biannual Forum and I have spent time getting to know folk at Feilding Oroua, St David’s Union Church in Carterton and Kaiapoi Co-operating Parish. Yes, PressGo can work with co-operating and union churches that have Presbyterian partners!
In his book “Small, Strong Congregations”, Kennon Callahan says that there are three types of small congregations “small and strong, small and weak and small and dying”. The latter is not a result of being a certain size; but it is a result of a way of thinking, planning and acting. A journey to health can be painful and slow, but is possible through the God who wants every church to become everything he designed it to be.
In my work I have also come across larger parishes which think and act like small ones and this is something which will create a range of barriers to growth, maturity and vitality. One of the things I really enjoy is the vast diversity of churches in the PCANZ. It is true some are really struggling but there would not be one I have encountered which does not have at least a small spark of possibility. As a Catalyst it is my role to help the congregation to find ways to fan that spark.