Five Decisions that Helped Turn Around My Small Town Church

Today’s guest post comes to us from Travis Stephens for

The small town church where I serve as Executive Pastor will turn 12 years old this year. In those 12 years we’ve experienced incredible growth in many different areas. We’ve seen hundreds of people experience salvation and take their next step through baptism. We’ve seen our giving increase tenfold. And we saw our average weekend attendance top 700 people, in a one stop light town with a population of 2,200.

I believe small town pastors have amazing opportunities to do big things in their communities. I believe your small town church can make a big impact, and I believe your small town church can grow; I believe this because I’m living it.

As far as the changes that have helped us grow, there are far too many to fit into one blog post. Maybe someday I’ll write a book about all of them. But, I do want to share some of the major changes that I believe have made the biggest impact along the way.

  1. We stopped settling for good enough and started saying, “Make it better.” It is so easy in rural churches to settle for good enough. We did it for far too long. Our worship’s not great, but it’s good enough. We never get started on time, but it’s good enough. Our coffee is not great, but it’s cheaper and that’s good enough. You get the point. As long as you’re ok with good enough, you’re going to have an average small town church at best. You have to change your mindset and your congregation’s from good enough to let’s make it better.

Click here to read the full article and the remaining four major changes that made a big impact.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 80 church growth resources and 15+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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