There is much value in "thinking small," say William H. Willimon and Robert L. Wilson. The importance of the small-membership church is illuminated in this thoughtful and insightful assessment.
In Preaching and Worship in the Small Church, authors Willimon and Wilson identify the problems facing small churches and offer well-grounded advice for solving them. The need for this is seen in the fact that from one-half to two-thirds of Protestant churches in the United States are small (fewer than two hundred members).
These tightly knit little communities of faith focus mainly on the very basic and much-overlooked fundamentals of Christian theology. As the authors note, "It is in such family-like churches that true worship renewal will occur, long before their larger counterparts will taste of this fresh new wine."
This is an affirming book: "It affirms the role and basic values of the small church. It affirms the centrality of Word and Sacrament. It affirms the role of the pastor of the small congregation. It affirms the laity and their values. On this foundation of authentic affirmation can be built creative and inspiring ministries, as the laity and the minister serve God together, in and through the small church."
Will Willimon Robert L. Wilson
William H. Willimon is Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church and former Dean of the Chapel at Duke University. He is the author of over fifty books and is widely recognized as one of America's best preachers.