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Small Church Ministry

Our mission is to be a supportive network for the 72 smaller congregations of Pittsburgh Presbytery that worship with less than 90 people in attendance on an average Sunday.  This mission is accomplished though providing sponsored events, informing churches of grant opportunities and other resources for smaller congregations, and promoting networking between pastors and churches.  

Many of our smaller congregations are in economically marginalized communities where it is very important to have a vibrant Christian witness.  We believe that Jesus has a heart for these communities.  It is our desire to assist and encourage smaller congregations in their ministry of fulfilling the mission of Christ in their communities.  God has a reason for each church to be in its particular community at this time.   Smaller congregations cannot provide programs in which they have something for everyone nor can they be all things to all people, but we believe each congregation has a niche in ministry, a piece of God’s kingdom work to live out and we encourage congregations to discern that niche and find their joy of participating in God’s kingdom work in their community and in the world.

We also believe that small congregations are not problems to be solved but are reflections of the human desire to congregate in a size that is most comfortable for human nature.  When the small church understands that it is not a problem to be solved but an opportunity for significant ministry, then the small church can live into its strengths.  The size and familiarity of the small church can lend itself to individual learning and discipleship in a way that larger churches have to work at creating.  In this way, the small congregation can provide a powerful spiritual setting for those members involved and their communities.  We believe it is time for the smaller congregations to recapture their mission and build on their strength – people matter!

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“Small Churches are not errors to be corrected, but intentional choices of members who put a priority on human relationships”
(Carl S. Dudley, Effective Small Churches in the Twenty-first Century, page 11)

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The Small Church Experience (by Judi Slater):

At its best, visiting a small church can be like coming home.

At its worst, visiting a small church can be like dropping in on someone else’s family reunion.