I just received a copy of this book. Last summer I attended a summer collegium at Virginia Theological Seminary on leadership in small congregations. I saw this book on the website and thought it looked interesting.
The country congregation I serve (Belmont Lutheran Church) has a membership of 58 with about 15 to 20 in worship per Sunday. There are certain things we can not do out there because of our size but there are certain things we can do because of our size. For starters…worship is more intimate. When I am preaching it feels like I am leading a small group. If someone is not able to be at worship to perform an assigned task, someone else quickly fills in. It’s like a family that compensates for any void that happens to exist. Coffee fellowship after worship feels like a family meal. When there is a funeral everyone shows up to help minister to the grieving family.
The continuing challenge is to encourage Belmont that they have an important mission in the Body of Christ. The other challenge is keeping worship fresh and engaging. These past couple years I have seen plenty of evidence that Belmont also wants to keep things fresh; not wanting to get stuck in a rut. As a pastor that is very encouraging.
I am looking forward to reading what these authors have to say about worship in small congregations.