Great and small

Small congregations, great churches
Being the pastor of a small church is hard work. I know; I was one once. And the rewards are relatively modest by anybody’s standards. One of the most sobering experiences I ever had was a visit with college friends the summer after my installation as pastor of a 100-member congregation. My friends were five years into their careers with IBM and Xerox and doing very well, with split-level ranch houses in the suburbs, country club memberships, and lots of things my family could not afford and would not afford for the foreseeable future. They also had weekends off. My minimum salary barely paid for the groceries, and our little manse was built on a concrete slab, smelled like fuel oil from a mysterious leak in the furnace, and had a toilet that refused to flush when it rained.


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