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Resources for Smaller Congregations
Many of these resources are available at our Resource Center.

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Small Congregations

Effective Small Churches in the Twenty-first Century by Carl S. Dudley
Abingdon Press, Nashville, copyright 2003.

Religious Education in the Small Membership Church by Nancy T. Foltz
Religious Education Press, Birmingham, copyright 1990.

Shepherding the Small Church by Glenn Daman
Kregel Press, copyright 2002.

Small Congregations Big Potential by Lyle E. Schaller
Abingdon Press, Nashville, Tennessee, copyright 2003.

Small, Strong Congregations by Kennon L. Callahan
Jossey-Bass Publishing, San Francisco, copyright 2000.

The In-Between Church: Navigating Size Transitions in Congregations by Alice Mann
Alban Institute Incorporated, copyright 1998.

The Learning Congregation by Thomas R. Hawkins
Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, copyright 1997.

Evangelism in Mainline Denominations

Unbinding the Gospel, Church Leader’s Study by Martha Grace Reese
Chalice Press, St. Louis, Missouri, copyright 2007.

Unbinding Your Church, Pastor’s Guide by Martha Grace Reese
Chalice Press, St. Louis, Missouri, copyright 2008.

Unbinding Your Heart, All-Church Study & Personal Journal by Martha Grace Reese
Chalice Press, St. Louis, Missouri, copyright 2008.

Spiritual/Discipleship Emphasis for the Church

Real Followers, A Radical Quest to Expose the Pretender in Each of Us by Michael Slaughter Abingdon Press, Nashville, copyright 1999.

Paradox for Living, Cultivating Faith in Confusing Times by N. Graham Standish Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, KY, copyright 2001.

Discovering the Narrow Path, A Guide to Spiritual Balance by N. Graham Standish
Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, KY, copyright 2002.

Becoming a Blessed Church, Forming a Church of Spiritual Purpose, Presence, and Power by N. Graham Standish
The Alban Institute, Herndon, VA, copyright 2005.

Transformational/Missional Church

If It Could Happen Here . . . Turning the Small Membership Church Around by Jeff Patton
Abingdon Press, copyright 2002.

Memories, Hopes, and Conversations, Appreciative Inquiry and Congregational Change by Mark Lau Branson
The Alban Institute, Herndon, VA, copyright 2004.

Direct Hit, Aiming Real Leaders at the Mission Field by Paul D. Borden
Abingdon Press, Nashville, copyright 2006.

We Are Here Now, A Missional Journey of Spiritual Discovery by Patrick Keifert
Allelon Publishing, Eagle, Idaho, copyright 2006.


Small churches doing Big things, Presbyterians Today, July/August 2005 edition
This article highlights some of the exciting ways smaller congregations are serving in mission.

Financial Aid

PCUSA DMin Grant Program
The PCUSA has a grant program for pastors of small (150 member or less) PCUSA congregations. The program provides grants to DMin students, or to pastors pursuing training to improve or enhance skills for ministry. Information about the PCUSA's Continuing Education program can be found on their website.

GA Mission Transformation Grant
Transformation of an existing congregation is the redirection of its ministry in light of significant changes among its membership, the community to be served, or both. Transformation includes a planned effort and intent to refocus the congregation’s ministry, under the direction of the presbytery. Transformation is about disrupting the current cycle of a congregation’s life in order to intentionally bring about change. Click here for a grant application. **Please note: All applications must be submitted to the Presbytery office at least two months prior to the GA deadline.

Enhancement Grant
The mission of the Administrative Commission for Transformation is to assist churches of the Pittsburgh Presbytery to reach others for Christ, provide vital worship, and be involved in the mission of Jesus Christ.  ACT is pleased to offer Enhancement Grants that are used to assist congregations who are seeking to enhance or start a new program, activity, or process in their congregations. Money for enhancement grants comes out of the operating budget of Pittsburgh Presbytery. Application forms can be found online.


Clearances for People Working with Children and Youth
Each church should have ACT 33 & 34 Clearances from the State of Pennsylvania for every person over 18 working with children and youth in the church.  The cost of these clearances is approximately $20 per person.  Often churches ask the person to pay for their own clearance.  Click here for information on how you can obtain the necessary forms and comply with the child safety efforts of the church.

Evangelism in the Small Church, booklet by Vital Faith Resources
Pittsburgh, 412-655-4958, copyright 1988, 2004

Presbyterian Small Church Ministry Network