If there is one thing that I, as a pastor of a small church, find annoying about church growth literature it is that it is almost always written by guys who planted churches. This sounds weird, but it is true. Most books on church growth are ‘ground-up’ books. They start with a plant team and build a church. This is true of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and any number of other church growth books.
Rare is the book that starts with an existing congregation and shows how it grew. And even rarer still is the book that starts with an existing small congregation and show how it grew in maturity and focus but is still small.
So, you can imagine my excitement coming into the view of The Strategically Small Church by Brandon J. O’Brien. Here was a book with the potential to not only tell me that it is “ok” to be a small congregation, but also that we can be healthy, growing, and small.
O’Brien did not disappoint.
Through real life examples and personal experience, he shows that the fascination with ‘big’ may very well be detrimental to the health of the church. He spends a considerable number of pages speaking about the ways that big churches are now trying to rediscover the intimacy and authenticity that comes natural to the smaller church.
This is not a perfect small church book. It has its quirks. But it is one of the better books on the small congregation phenomenon (and make no mistake about it, the small congregation is here to stay.)
This review is based on a copy of the book provided free of charge by Bethany House Publishers. I received no financial renumeration for the preceding review.