A Place Where Everybody Matters: Life and Ministry in a Small Church
by Jean F. Risley
from Wipf & Stock Publishers
A Place Where Everybody Matters is about living out our life in Christ in and through the small church. Small churches are uniquely personal, and, as a result, they provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn, grow, and live as disciples of Jesus consciously, on a daily basis. This book provides a window into what life is like inside the small church family, looks at the way church families do the work of the church, and considers the kind of pastor that supports and encourages the people of the small church.
Small churches are deeply relational, and their members become a family, children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus together. Small church people have long histories with each other, and the normal human drama of good and evil, sin and repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation are played out in the relationships within the family. The people share a faith and a theology that is grounded in their shared worship and then applied together as the circumstances of their lives unfold.
Small churches need the work of all of their people to survive, and this means that there is a productive place for every person, no matter how challenged, in the family. As a result, a small church is a place for discipleship, where everyone can serve an apprenticeship in faith, learning from those before them and passing on their experiences to those around them. In a small church, the pastor provides the context by preaching and teaching; serves as a role model in encouraging the ministry of others; and, by loving the people, helps them see themselves through God’s eyes.
Through the encounters with small church life in the book, a reader should develop an understanding of how and why
- Small churches are a valuable aspect of the presence of Christ in the world.
- Small churches are a place to learn and pass on our discipleship.
- Theology becomes real as it is lived out in the small church family.
- Life experience is always a teaching opportunity in the small church.
- Small church pastors and leaders teach by providing living examples.