I’ve been working on an idea for a book for a few months. Most books and conferences are focused on larger churches in large cities. What about small churches in small towns? They feel left out and alone, forgotten and misunderstood. True success for a church should be based on its faithfulness, not its size.
One of the most rewarding aspects of this blog has been helping smaller churches with limited staff and resources find new ways to do ministry. This blog started in 2006, and now has over 1000 posts. Through this blog, I’ve met numerous people in ministry around the country and even around the world. I would appreciate your prayers as I refine my ideas for the book.
Since I’ve never written a book, my time has been spent trying to understand how the publishing industry works. These two books below have been helpful in understanding the process. I’ve also been learning more about book proposals and the Christian book market from the resources on Michael Hyatt’s website.
Churches of all sizes are always trying to create community. The assumption seems to be that since we’re all Christians we are all automatically “family” or “friends”. But in my experience it takes a lot more than a shared belief, no matter how deeply shared, to make a real community, and even more to engender real friendship.
I was in a men’s group that met every Thursday morning for several years. It came out that they all considered each other friends. I asked (respectfully) whether anyone in the group communicated in any way between meetings. Silence. Yet we’re all friends? This is the shallow definition of friendship that I run into so often in Evangelical Christian circles. I have no feel for such friendship. As acquaintances, fine. It can be very rewarding for all concerned. But to mistake that for friendship is false and leads to greater loneliness and fragmentation.
I have no answer to this sad situation. I’m simply tired of it being ignored in the endless search for and celebration of “community”. I’m wondering if genuine, serendipitous community is even possible anymore.
John, thanks for the comment. I would agree that the Church in America tries too hard to artificially create community. You don’t automatically end up with deep commitment and community from small groups. My hope has always been that our attenders will find one or two people in their group that they truly connect with and can form a friendship. Community then happens when you are intentional about doing life together.
You are right when you say that when people don’t meet between meetings, true authentic community will never take place. I also think it is more complicated for those, like myself, who tend to be more introverted and cautious in group settings. One of the best books I have found on this is Community by Brad House. Here is an intro video about the book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm99vyRjcRs
Dear Mike. I have published a book twice and enjoyed every moment of it! I’m ready to write another book. I have to say i have read dozens of books on church topics and i find them to be redundant. Scriptures are clear that fulfillment of the ” Great Commission ” is what drives the church. A sense of community among believers should not be a topic since they should all be saved. A good motivational book on personal evangelism from a fresh perspective in which incorporates smart phone apps is an idea.
Thanks John for the comment. My ideas is a book dedicated to small churches helping them overcome the unique challenges that they face. There are very few books out there that are geared toward this market. Building community within a church is an important part of understanding our mission to fulfill the Great Commission. We make disciples, then baptize them (bring them into a local community of believers), and then teach them to obey (discipleship). Each area of this has unique challenges for small churches. I definitely want to focus on how technology can help overcome the obstacles that we face.