April 2020 Resource

The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic and Effective
The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic and Effective


Brandon J. O'Brien


Bethany House Publisher, Minneapolis, MN

Book Review By:

Melvin Amerson

Premise of the book:
The small church can be effective and viable by fulfilling its mission and purpose through the discipleship, talent sharing of its members, and community partnerships.

What this book does:
The Strategically Small Church is a great resource, specifically written for and about the small membership church being effective and vibrant, as a small faith community. The author of this book draws from his experience and the experience of others, who have successfully pastored small churches. He empowers and encourages small church pastors and laity to embrace their ministry to the community, and not be consumed with becoming a large church. O’Brien offers ideas, stories, strategies and encouragement in this helpful guide. Each chapter concludes with “Questions for Reflections for Pastors or Leadership Team.”


Chapter 1 See for Yourself: Reimagining Ministry Success
Chapter 2 Downward Mobility: Four Ministries Shrink for the Kingdom’s Sake
Chapter 3 Keeping It Real: The Authentic Church
Chapter 4 Keeping It Lean: The Nimble Church
Chapter 5 The Work of the People: The Equipping Church
Chapter 6 New Focus on the Family: The Intergenerational Church
Chapter 7 Filling the Leadership Gap: The Training Church
Chapter 8 Catch the Vision

What are some important insights:
In this resource, the author points out attributes of small churches. He highlights areas where large and mega-churches attempt to emulate the unique strength of small churches like small groups, financial efficiency, evangelistic energy, and personal intimacy. Success for the small church is defined not by size but by effectively ministering to the needs of its members and the community.

Possibilities as a resource for churches:
This is a great resource for pastors and laity of small membership congregations in rural communities and small towns.

Melvin Amerson

Rev. Melvin Amerson is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and serves as a Resource Specialist/Area Representative at TMF. His experience and passion lie in encouraging and developing generous, faithful leaders and congregations.

Melvin is the author of Celebrating the Offering, Fruit for Celebrating the Offering and Stewardship in African American Churches: A New Paradigm, as well as several articles covering topics from generosity, leadership and visioning. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and is a nationally-recognized generosity consultant known for his engaging presentations.

Melvin obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, a Master of Divinity degree concentrating in Christian education from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, an Executive Leadership certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.