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4 Mistakes Small Churches Make

 —  January 13, 2014 — Leave a comment

MY ODE TO 2014:

I love small churches. If you know me, you know I do. Otherwise, I wouldn’t devote so much attention to how they can be the best they can be.

But these 4 things get under my skin and will cause a rash if small churches keep making these same mistakes over and over again.

1) Assuming: Assuming everybody knows everybody’s name. Assuming they don’t need to keep up with technology. Assuming that folks just know the prayer or the liturgy or the song or the custom.

2) Over-politeness: Born from not being able to hide in a small church, many great ideas go un-brewed for fear that someone’s feelings will be hurt if a different “flavor of ministry” direction is chosen. Programs that have LONG gone past their freshness date still get served up, folks taste-vote with their feet, and churches re left scratching their “it used to work” heads.

3) Ugliness: I don’t mean people, of course!  I mean in physical environment. Let’s be real, people. Some churches look like they gave up a long time ago! Its been so long since their rooms had a fresh coat of paint that it makes me wonder if Jesus Himself picked the paint colors. A good rule of thumb: If it hasn’t been used in 5 years, get rid of it! If its dirty, clean it! If its messy, organize it! Peeling? Paint it. There, I feel better.

4) Small-excuse: Too many churches use the “But, we’re just a small church” to keep themselves from having to keep up, to strive for excellence. There are way more advantages than disadvantages.

More “Lists of 4″ to come as we still celebrate the New Year!


Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

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Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry to youth and youth workers in the local church since…well, a long time – 30+ years. Her humorous, straightforward style keeps her busy presenting and coaching at conferences, training events, camps, mission trips, retreats, churches, etc. Her latest books are, “Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches” and “99 Thoughts for the Smaller Church Youth Worker,” published by Group/Simply Youth Ministry. Stephanie is a contributing author to several youth ministry resources in addition to her regular column “Smaller Church Youth Ministry” in Group Magazine. Stephanie is Senior Consultant for Mark DeVries’ Ministry Architects and the director for their Small Church Ministry Architects division. She and her hubby, Steve, live in Houston, TX. All 7 kids are grown and out – praise God!

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