A Study Guide for Small Membership Church Survival: Participating in God’s Mission
Small membership churches are struggling with the very real issue of their continued survival. However, there is no wealth of information nor work addressing the issues of small membership churches. The purpose of this thesis is to devise a vehicle by which I can analyze and interpret issues of survival as they are lived out in the local church setting. This thesis will explore the biblical and theological basis for parish ministry by using The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. It will assess the role of the small membership church, explore several different denominational approaches to the issue of church survival, provide a study guide, and analyze a process that I am developing for the three small churches I served. This thesis will be beneficial in exposing the state of the small membership church and the hidden dynamics that shape them. This thesis will be the beginning of a road map for the small membership church seeking to survive to participate in God’s Mission.
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