Where to Start

First of all, let me begin by telling you why I decided to write this. I believe that I have learned many things already during the 5 years of pastoring the small church that I pastor in Arkansas. I want to share my struggles and successes and hopefully I can help other pastors of small churches. I don’t claim to know everything about pastoring a small church but I have experienced many things.
Since this is my first entry, I want to give you a brief background of where I am coming from. I began pastoring the church I am at almost five years ago. This was my first pastorate. My previous ministry experience was mostly as a youth pastor. Before taking this pastorate I had been out of full time ministry for 7 1/2 years. Needless to say my church took a chance on hiring a guy with no senior pastor experience. My wife and I say that our congregation is good to us because they let us practice on them.
During the past five years that we have been here we have experienced both highs and lows, but I know that God is in it because He has brought us through many obstacles.
One of the biggest hurdles that we had to overcome was financial. When I took the church it was in debt to the tune of $200,000. Now this may not seem like a lot to some of you, but the congregation was only running 35 on a good day. The church was in its 35th year and still paying the original church mortgage. Each time that the church would refinance they would take out more money and never paid off the debt. Today, I am proud to say that in 5 or less years we should be debt free.
When I came to this church, I was the fourth pastor in five years. As you can image, even though the congregation was excited to have a new pastor, they were anticipating that I wouldn’t stay long. Who could blame them with the track record of the past.
So now, here I am almost five years later at this wonderful church and we have come a long way. Our finances are up. The congregation is adding new faces every week. Our Missions giving is up. And the church is healthier than it has been in a long time.
In this blog I am hoping to share with you some of my victories and disappointments in hopes that it will help other small church pastors out there who are just starting or looking for a fresh start.
Thanks for reading and I hope that you will find this to be helpful.