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hope for churches in stress

Rooting for the Underdog

At a time when church attenders are migrating to larger churches, smaller churches (and their pastors) can languish from neglect.

If you are a person who roots for the underdog, why not become an avid fan of a smaller church that is outnumbered and under-resourced yet still bucking the odds?

Pray. To begin, pray for the pastor and church. Combined with others who are praying, your intercession packs a wallop (Rev. 8:3-5). From time to time, let the pastor know that you are praying.

Do lunch. Whether in an outlying location or hidden in plain view, pastors of smaller churches can feel alone. Invite the pastor to lunch and—without any agenda—express friendship and support.

Listen. Insights gained by setbacks are invaluable. Life lessons shaped in adversity are priceless. Stories of resilience are inspiring. Listen to the pastor and soak up the spiritual wisdom.

Help. Look for ways to help—and to stir up help. Do you know musicians who could help out? Leftover books or curriculum? Audio-visual equipment being replaced? Scrounge for the cause!

Believe. As a fan of underdogs, share your conviction that all things are possible (Mt. 19:26). Whenever you can, reenforce the pastor’s mindset that smaller churches can be healthy and fruitful.

One person, cheering and supporting, can create a tipping point for a smaller church—the moment when distraction shifts to focus, weariness to energy, and discouragement to fresh determination.

Find your church underdog and take up the challenge!

A book by this title has been published by Barnabas Initiatives. You can find Rooting for the Underdog on Amazon in Kindle and hard copy formats.

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