by Jane Dwinell and Ellen Germann-Melosh
The small congregation (150 members or less) has unique gifts and challenges and is a very different religious community than a larger congregation. This book is a practical, how-to handbook for leaders of small congregations. It’s written for Unitarian Universalists, but is useful for lay and paid leaders of any denomination. Jane and Ellen write in a friendly, down-to-earth style, offering useful advice on everything from money to ministers to mission. Each section includes resources for further exploration. 2007; 190 pages.
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What people are saying about Big Ideas for Small Congregations:
InterConnections, the Unitarian Universalist publication for congregational leaders, reviewed Big Ideas for Small Congregations in their Winter 2008 issue. Check out the review here.
From the back cover of the book…
“Megachurches—those with two thousand, ten thousand, even thirty thousand in attendance—are getting lots of attention these days. Still, seventy percent of all congregations in America are small congregations with less than one hundred in attendance.
“Jane Dwinell and Ellen Germann-Melosh have created an enormously helpful guide for leaders who strive to make their small congregations vital and meaningful. With practical tips on stewardship, staffing, conflict, hospitality, and a dozen other topics, they create confidence that the challenges and opportunities presented by the small congregation can be met with joy and purpose. Whether you are a lay or professional leader, the wisdom and insights in these pages will help you serve the mission of the small church.”
—the Rev. Harlan Limpert, Director for District Services
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
“With humor and insight, the authors have created readily accessible information, encouragement, reassurance, and challenge for leaders and members of small congregations. Undergirding the useful practical information and anecdotes is a profound sense of the importance of mission and vision as the congregation’s source of decisionmaking. This book is a valuable resource for small congregations.”
—the Rev. Michael P. Corrigan, District transition interim minister
Unitarian Universalist Church of Pueblo, Colorado
“If you’re a leader—or a follower—in a small Unitarian Universalist congregation, you need this book! From soup to nuts, Jane and Ellen provide advice and guidance for all the issues we wrestle with every day. Money? It’s in there. Worship? It’s in there. Staffing, buildings, religious exploration, bylaws, and mission: they’re all in there. This is an indispensable resource for small congregations everywhere.”
—Dana Baron, lay leader
Mount Mansfield UU Fellowship, Jericho, Vermont