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Small, Strong Congregations: Creating Strengths and Health for Your Congregation Hardcover – October 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787949809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787949808
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Leaders, Staff, and volunteers, will benefit from this rich resource." (CharityChannel, 1/02)

"...the book is a letter of encouragement for small churches to boldly be themselves." (Anglican Theological Review, 3/02)

From the Inside Flap

Many books suggest that the future of the Christian movement rests with the success of mega-congregations. These authors also conclude that small congregations are doomed. Kennon L. Callahan-today's most noted church consultant-moves ahead of such thinking and envisions a very different future. In this newest book, he confirms that the twenty-first century will be the age of consciously small, strong congregations.This important book chronicles the emergence of a vast number of congregations that are questioning the bigger-is-better notion in church membership. These congregations are deliberately small, active, and happy in their dedication to creating strong church communities that advance God's mission. Step by step, Kennon Callahan shows pastors and other church leaders how they can develop the values and specific qualities helpful to shape and strengthen their own small congregations.Written to be a hands-on guide, Small, Strong Congregations offers practical suggestions for creating mission and service, compassion and shepherding, community and belonging, self-reliance and self-sufficiency, worship and hope, teams and leaders, space and facilities, and giving and generosity. This wise resource is filled with illustrative examples that show clearly how myriad small churches have created solid, vigorous congregations.Small, Strong Congregations is a common-sense guide to the rich possibilities for the future where leaders, pastors, and the grassroots of small congregations work together to develop a healthy, constructive approach to their mission.

More About the Author

Kennon L. Callahan, B.A., M.Div., S.T.M., Ph.D. : researcher, professor, and pastor : is one of today's most sought-after church consultants and speakers. Author of many books, he is best known for his groundbreaking Twelve Keys to an Effective Church, which has formed the basis for the widely acclaimed Mission Growth Movement.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kindle on May 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is uncharacteristically long for one of Callahan's works (most are about 130 pages or so-- this doubles those). It lacks his concise nature and brevity (Mark it, though-- he usually says a lot in a few words, and it does take time to wade through and gather all of his wisdom). This book bogs a little in the middle, as far as readability...
Nonetheless, Callahan provides great insight as to how to run a smaller church. Often, small churches (which they all start out as, even if planting one)attempt to be "mini-megas," as C calls them. The reality is... some will be mega-churches one day... but, they must live that tension between where they are today, and the vision of what God has called them to become in the future. And, rather than doing EVERYTHING right now, they are better off doing one or two things INCREDIBLY WELL NOW, then adding on from there. In other words, vision means that many times you have to say "no" to good opportunities.
This allows the church to focus its energies in moving forwards, creating critical mass to do other things... which brings success in an area, providing momentum... which brings success and more momentum...
The book as an organic, relational approach to church growth, which is refreshing. That is, growth happens naturally through relationships with people-- not by getting into trap of throwing out more programs (a tendency in the small church, wanting to be a mini-mega).
Callahan calls churches to be strong-- and to start building on their strengths. To take seriously the gifts and abilities and resources God has placed in that Body... And, to build the Kingdom.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kennon Callahan has captured the imagination of the leader of the small church in America. He writes simply and straight forwardly about the trials of those who live in small congregations. I liked the fact that he doesn't try to convince the small church leader to adopt a mega-church mentality. Rather, he challenges them to look within their respective communities and tap into the power and the resources that already reside there. He does challenge the small church to live a life of service to the community rather than retreat into a life of survival. It is about mission not membership.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Terry W. Dorsett on December 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I grew up as a member of large church and through an odd twist of circumstances joined the staff of a large church while in college. I learned a lot and enjoyed it but realized somewhere along the way that "bigger was not always better." I longed to touch people's lives instead of just oversee programs. That led me to become the pastor of a small church. It did not take long to realize that the small church had a lot of struggles too, mostly relating to church health. Over time (mostly through trial and error) I learned to help that small church become strong. How I wish I had this book way back then. So much of what I learned by doing it the wrong way could have been learned easier and with less pain if I had this book.

According to this book, the key to having strong small congregations is for those churches to examine themselves in eight key areas: "Mission and Service," "Compassion and Shepherding," "Community and Belonging," "Self-Reliance and Self-Sufficiency," "Worship and Hope," "Team, Leaders, and Congregation," "Space and Facilities," and "Giving and Generosity." The author says that a small congregation that is strong in at least five of these areas will thrive. I agree.

It is really worth the price and the investment in time to read this book.
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By Timothy Hallman on August 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Callahan writes with a subtle passion that dares you to believe that small churches can be strong churches. As I read and reread his book, I found myself greatly wanting to be in the church he describes. I found the book to be convincing. There are other books I have read on church health and church growth, but this particular theory strikes me as more authentic, personal and practical.
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