A couple of characteristics that typically apply to town and country churches:
- They’re small. In these settings, are way more churches between 15-50 people than there are churches of more than 100.
- They’re made up of individuals who come from rather large extended families.
This presents a unique dynamic – whenever a church member hosts a family gathering, the turnout on Sunday morning could easily double. That happened for us at Three Lakes this Sunday. Our average attendance for a worship service has been around 25 people. In celebration of Easter, one member had about 20 relatives to visit. So with one family get-together, the attendance on Sunday went from 25 to 45. Such circumstances occur several times throughout the year.
I’ve grown a lot as a result of this potential doubling.
In any ministry, there are certain areas that require finesse and flexibility. Recently I’ve sought to develop this as a part of my weekly preparation. As I’m writing my manuscript, I make little notes to the side about how I might make a slightly different point or draw out a more evangelistic emphasis of application. If Sunday rolls around, and I look out to see our dear core family of faith – I stick with the manuscript. But on the weeks when I see lots of folks whose spiritual condition I know nothing about, I want to be ready and able to adjust appropriately.