SMALLER CHURCH NETWORK
Did you know that six out of ten EPC churches meet with fewer than 200 people each Sunday, or that four out of every ten meet with less than 100? The Smaller Church Network was formed to affirm, equip and encourage the leaders of these “small steeple” churches, and assist them in understanding their ministries missionally, discerning their church’s unique strengths and gifts, and reaching their communities.
Launched in 2008 as the “Z-4:10 Network,” the network was established on the biblical basis of Zechariah 4:10, “For who has despised the day of small things?” Scripture reveals a God who works in remarkable ways in unexpected places. In many cases, those places are the smaller churches of the EPC. Following Phill Butler’s definition of a network as described in his book Well Connected, the Smaller Church Network is a way to facilitate ongoing communication and information sharing, thereby helping EPC small-church leaders serve and lead their congregations and communities more effectively.
The network operates under five assumptions:
• A church has worth and significance because it is a people of God, not because of its size.
• In determining ministry success, being a missional church is more important than size.
• Lack of growth in a church, regardless of size, may or may not be indicative of missional unfaithfulness and must be honestly addressed.
• Solutions to issues in a small church may be different than those in a larger setting.
• Leaders of small churches will benefit from connections with peers, mentors, and coaches.
In addition to the resources below, the Smaller Church Network Fund provides resources to develop programs, purchase leadership training materials, and assist leaders of small churches with financial need to attend regional conferences that will affirm the small church in its missional purpose and practice. Click here to join in this partnership. Thank you!
The Smaller Church Network began with the conviction that it will grow best from the ground up, as leaders connect in various and meaningful ways. Each year’s General Assembly / Gospel Priorities Summit features Networking Lunch gatherings to discuss smaller church ministry and fellowship with other leaders of smaller churches. Other opportunities, such as video conference book discussions, occur throughout the year.