Small on Purpose

Life in a Significant Church

By Lewis Parks Published
Paperback image ISBN: 9781501827327 $15.99 Buy
eBook image ISBN: 9781501827334 $15.99 Buy
Your small church can do ministry that is unique and necessary in your community. Learn how and celebrate!

Small on Purpose: Life in a Significant Church is a joyful and honest look at the kingdom-enriching characteristics of small congregations. Lewis Parks demonstrates how to see and build upon those strengths. His premise is not better/worse. Instead, Parks shows us how life in a small congregation is profoundly significant and the important role these churches play. This book includes clear instructions on how leaders can streamline ministry to maximize the unique and powerful contributions small churches make in their communities. This book is inspiring and practical, a refreshing point of view for the church and church leaders.

“Small on Purpose reimagines what it means to be a congregation of ninety, sixty, or thirty by not focusing on size. I especially appreciate Lewis Parks’s attention to why ‘soul care’ is critical for congregations under 150 as a means of discipleship and outreach. Parks sees soul care as a countercultural act that creates meaning for many who are seeking family-like relationships. This book challenges all congregations to take seriously the small things they are doing—like soul care—as a compelling way to move into the future.” —F. Douglas Powe Jr., Managing Director for The Institute for Community Engagement, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC; author of New Wine, New Wineskins and Not Safe for Church from Abingdon Press

“Lewis Parks writes with pitch-perfect tone about the life of small churches. He appeals to the experience of smaller congregations as gathering places of worship and service. There he sees signs of the Spirit moving, of tradition revivified through song and word, of pastoral care shared across a congregation. Above all, he offers transformative words and perspectives with which small churches can claim their distinctive witness.” —Thomas Edward Frank, University Professor and Chair of the Department of History, Wake Forest College, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

“In a time when the culture is becoming more and more individualistic, Lew Parks strikes a chord for the great value of the gathered community of faith that is strengthened week by week through their faithfulness to the gospel and to one another. Gather in your small church and read this together. Your life and your community will be enriched.” —Bill McAlilly, Bishop, Nashville Area Episcopal Office, The United Methodist Church


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Endorsements

Small on Purpose was written by a pastor with deep compassion for churches of fewer than one hundred members who faithfully gather each week, energized by the Spirit. Parks gives readers, both clergy and laity, a new framework for considering these churches as sufficient and significant spaces for God’s work to occur in worship, pastoral care, and being church. Read and take hope!”

—Robin Knowles Wallace, Professor in the Taylor Endowed Chair of Worship and Music, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Delaware, OH

“In a time when the culture is becoming more and more individualistic, Lew Parks strikes a chord for the great value of the gathered community of faith that is strengthened week by week through their faithfulness to the gospel and to one another. Gather in your small church and read this together. Your life and your community will be enriched.”

—Bill McAlilly, Bishop, Nashville Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church

Small on Purpose reimagines what it means to be a congregation of ninety, sixty, or thirty by not focusing on size. I especially appreciate Lewis Parks’s attention to why ‘soul care’ is critical for congregations under 150 as a means of discipleship and outreach. Parks sees soul care as a countercultural act that creates meaning for many who are seeking family-like relationships. This book challenges all congregations to take seriously the small things they are doing—like soul care—as a compelling way to move into the future.”

F. Douglas Powe Jr., Managing Director for The Institute for Community Engagement, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC; author of New Wine, New Wineskins and Not Safe for Church from Abingdon Press

About the Author

Lewis Parks

Lewis A. Parks is Associate Dean for Church Leadership Development and Director of the D.Min. Program at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.

Mr. Parks co-authored  Ducking Spears, Dancing Madly: A Biblical Model of Church Leadership with Bruce Birch and is the author of Preaching in the Small Membership Church, both published by Abingdon Press.