Monday, December 13, 2010

Small Church, Bivocational Work Gets Affirmation At NAMB Conference

By Adam Miller

The challenges and opportunities smaller Southern Baptist churches might embrace to reach their communities with the Gospel was the focus of a Small Church and Bivocational Pastors Missional Initiative Dialogue at the North American Mission Board.

Congregations of less than 200 members account for 33,522 churches within the Southern Baptist Convention, a majority of the nation's largest non-Catholic denomination.

The meeting of two dozen church and denominational leaders served as a follow-up to an 18-month series of discussions between NAMB's church planting group and field partners, including pastors, associational directors of missions and state convention staff. This birthed the idea for a "small church missional initiative" geared to connect smaller churches to each other for greater impact and cohesion."

This was sort of like the capstone on the whole project," said George Garner, a church planting strategies consultant at NAMB who moderated the meeting. "We've been working on a strategy the last 18 months and it evolved to the place where we really want to put this together under one frame."

"What we're trying to do is get a snapshot. The perception is that we are a mega-church denomination ...," Garner said. "What we want to see is a mobilization and empowerment among small churches."

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Until next time...share the journey and enjoy the ride!

Pat