Expert: Smaller churches are just right
Small churches are the right size. In November, David Ray reaffirmed that in half-a-dozen Oklahoma workshops based on the statement. A sponsor was the Small-Church Commission.
Benefitting from Rev. Dr. Ray’s insights were 246 United Methodists, representing 84 churches. The workshops were open to all, but the target was churches with worship attendance of 25-80 people.
For more than 30 years, Ray has helped smaller-membership churches work creatively to overcome challenges and to grow in effective ministry and mission. The handouts as well as Ray’s lectures in Oklahoma proved he has studied smaller congregations in depth.
As he has traveled, he identified "Common Denominators from 21 Smaller Faith and Effective Churches from Coast to Coast." Among those he listed:
Ray also tackled the topic of finances in smaller churches. His resource "Affording To Be a Smaller Church" noted:
And the adviser introduced ministry strategies, including "Thoughtfully Growing by Adoption."
The questions Ray urged his audience to explore could be asked of any church.
Why do you want to grow? What price will you pay? What does your church have to offer? What are its specific gifts? What specific areas do you need to address to be more attractive and equipped for new people? What individuals and groups are unchurched or have unmet needs in your community?
Ray also pursues these topics as an author.