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Customer Reviews for Bethany House The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective

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

Our culture's infatuation with bigness--bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger businesses--has infiltrated the church. But smaller doesn't equal second-rate, and bigger isn't better.

Leadership Journal editor and former pastor Brandon O'Brien in Stategically Small Churches shows how small churches are uniquely equipped for success in today's culture. O'Brien celebrates churches that are taking full advantage of their small size and analyzes how other churches can learn from their strategies.

For example, strategically small churches: facilitate a higher level of commitment from laypeople focus attention on fewer programs, increasing effectiveness nurture close relationships across age and life-experience barriers But perhaps most important, O'Brien asks churches to rethink what it means to be successful. Sometimes small is just right.
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14 out of 1688%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Review 1 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 29, 2011
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Tootles
Location:New Hampshire
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
My brother who is a pastor recommended it for me to purchase for my own pastor. To me that is a very high review.
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Review 2 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

This book fails to deliver.

Date:February 22, 2011
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Silver Dollar
Location:Vincennes, IN
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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2 out of 5
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1 out of 5
1 out of 5
The book suggests one thing and then offers another. For a no formula book, it weaves one through out its pages. To me, small churches are not 300 members but less than 100. The points O'Brien makes that supposedly supports the strengths of the small church are not strengths, but only functions of size. He indicates big churches are inflexible and cannot maneuver in the market place for souls. To me, O'Brien misses the mark. I was disappointed. Sorry.
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Review 3 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Interesting Read

Date:November 30, 2010
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lipto
Location:Wisconsin
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Church size has been a topic of conversation for quite a few years and this conversation seems to go in cycles - at times bigger is said to better but then at other times smaller is said to be better. Brandon O'Brien seeks to address this topic in his book titled, "The Strategically Small Church." O'Brien was a pastor of smaller churches and that gives him first hand understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the small church. The weaknesses of the small church are easy to recognize and many churches focus on their weaknesses instead of their strengths. O'Brien identifies six strengths that he thinks the small church has over a larger church - evangelism, authenticity, leanness, discipleship, intergenerational ministry and leadership training. He highlights these strengths with actual ministry examples.
I had trouble with this book for three reasons. First of all, O'Brien says that the smaller church has the strategic advantage over the larger in these six areas of ministry. This statement implies that larger churches are not as effective in these six areas of ministry. I don't think that this is a fair statement by O'Brien. Obviously this six areas of ministry will be lived out differently in any size church, but it is very difficult, and ultimately unhealthy, to rank effectiveness according to church size.
Secondly, O'Brien utilizes a very broad category of "small" church. He mainly references churches under 300 in average attendance. This category is way too broad. A church of 300 ministers much differently than a church of 15. For this reason you cannot generalize ministry effectiveness of all churches 300 and smaller.
Finally, unfortunately, O'Brien perpetuates the unhealthy church size conversation cycle. He is saying that smaller is "better" than larger. Just because you are small church does not mean you are effective in these six areas of ministry. And just because you are larger church does not mean you are not effective in these six ministry areas. Playing the comparison game in ministry is never healthy. More often than not it leads to unhealthy conclusions and attitudes.
It some ways I feel this book wasted a great opportunity to highlight areas of ministry that the small church can excel at without comparing to larger churches. In other ways O'Brien does highlight some possible strengths of the smaller church. Read this book with a discerning eye.
I received this book free from Bethany House. Obviously, receiving it free did not affect my review of this book.
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Review 4 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Must Read for all Ministry Leaders

Date:November 20, 2010
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Momof4
Location:Canada
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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Growing up in a small church provided me many opportunities to minister and for that I am very thankful. With the growth of mega-churches the small church has often struggled with how to increase numbers. I just finished reading the Strategically Small Church, by Brandon J.Obrien, and I am recharged and ready for action. This book outlines the strengths of smaller churches, our ability to build relationships, and opportunities for multi-generational ministry. I found this book very interesting and I would encourage all deacons, church leaders and pastors of smaller churches to read this book. I find the idea of program sharing very interesting, and hope
to implement what I have learned in my ministry opportunities. Excellent work. I would give this book 4 stars. This book was given to me for purpose of review by Bethany House publishers.
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Review 5 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent!

Date:November 11, 2010
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PastoralMusings
Location:Dixie
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Stategically Small Church is a refreshing book. It affirms the small church in its smallness. Not the ineffective, uncaring smallness that prays for “me and my four, and no more”. It affirms the fact that smallness isn't a bad thing, but can be strategically used to honor God and minister to others.
In the Christian world bigger seems to be better. It seems that we have bought into the world's idea that size equals worth. O'Brien counters that with the fact that a small church may not be able to do everything that big churches can, but they can do things big churches can't.
Small churches can be nimble, move quickly, can be unhindered by beauracracy, and can be authentic. Not all small churches are like that, and there is no glory in being small for small's sake. The potential is there, however.
Small churches have great potential to foster relationships, reach out to the troubled with care and compassion, and minister in a way that is felt in the heart. Why? Because in small churches practically everyone knows everyone. It also means that the membership is the ministry much more than in the large church. Everyone has the opportunity to be involved.
One thing that I truly like is the emphasis made on intergenerational focus. We often feel that we MUST have youth groups. O'Brien states that we can have everyone worshiping together and working together. That is a good thing that bridges the so-called generation gap.
Many positive things could be said about this book. In fact, I must say that I intend to read it again so that I can get more out of it.
What about negatives? I think that would simply be the fact that there is a need for some “how to” on overcoming the problems that are so common to small churches: one man leadership, cliques and schisms, family rule, democratic process that sometimes equals mob rule, etc. In the end, however, I know that everything can't be contained in one book. Perhaps a sequel?
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Review 6 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Blessed are the Small - Indeed

Date:November 4, 2010
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HollyMag
Location:Covina, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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Having grown up as a Christian in a small church I was excited to read this book. Initially I was concerned that the author was going to tell me how big churches pretend to be small, but yet have all the resources of a big church. I was grateful that the author was merely showing that many mega-churches are recognizing the benefits of community and a need to have “smallness.”
Mr. O’Brien did a good job of identifying the benefits of a small church. This book reminds pastors and lay leaders as well, that viewing success by the number of people in your church isn’t Biblical. He gives us a much better and realistic way to look at our churches. Bigger is not necessarily better.
The author deals with four key points for the strategically small church: intimacy, being nimble, authenticity, and effectiveness. He draws out each of these topics with practical information and examples of ways a churches have done this. He also gives some warnings of what not to do. The effectiveness chapter is probably the most critical for the small church. Here the author gives some excellent examples of how small churches around the country have made an impact in their community.
This is a great book for pastors of small churches who may struggle with the definition of success. It can be a source of encouragement as well as ideas to help them lead their churches.
Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for my review.
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Review 7 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great book about the advantages of a small church

Date:November 1, 2010
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LisaH
Location:Houston Tx
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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I recently recieved a copy of The Strategically Small Church by Brandon J. O'Brien and it couldn't have come at a more appropriate time. Having recently relocated to a very small church where my husband is on staff I was interested in O'Brien's take on the advantages of a small church.
In The Strategically Small Church, O'Brien shows how small churches are uniquely equipped for success in todays culture and shows how other churches can learn from their stategies. He states small churches, facilitate a higher level of commitment from laypeople, focus attention on fewer programs, increasing effectivness and nurture close relationships across age and life-experience barriers. He uses examples from real life small churches such as the authentic, nimble, equipping, intergenerational, and the training church, showing what works with each.In a world where bigger is considered better, O'Brien shows that sometimes small is just right.
I recieved a copy for review from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, all views expressed are my own opinion.
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Review 8 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Small really CAN be big in the kingdom

Date:November 1, 2010
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Lynda Lee
Location:Timmins, ON
Age:55-65
Gender:female
The Strategically Small Church
Brandon J. O’Brien
Bethany House
2010
168 pages
At last, someone who understands that the small church isn’t necessarily dead or dying; that, at the risk of being branded for using and abusing a cliché, “good things DO sometimes come in small packages.”
Brandon O’Brien presents a solid case for that self-aware, self-confident small church that recognizes the advantages of its size and is not intimidated by the mega-church mystique. This book is balm to the soul of the majority of pastors who have come away from conferences led by their mega-church brothers, feeling like failures even when souls are coming to Christ and lives are being changed as a result of their ministries. As O’Brien says: “Mega-churches (regular attendance over 2000) make up less than one half of one percent of churches in America…we have allowed the ministry experience of 6 percent of pastors to become the standard by which the remaining 94 percent of us judge ourselves” (pg. 25).
O’Brien deals specifically, and articulately, with six areas of church in which the strategically small church (with emphasis on “strategically”) has valid advantages over its mega-sister: mission, authenticity, ability to change rapidly, equipping, focusing on the family, and training.
The author emphasizes that there is no virtue in being small if you are not being strategic and that strategic doesn’t means buying into the latest fads in church growth or trying to imitate the “big guys.” It means recognizing who you are as a church and using that to best advantage for the sake of the Kingdom.
Jim Belcher, author of Deep Church, says this in his forward to O’Brien’s book: “What if God’s plan for most churches is to be small? What if the best model for the church is to stay under five hundred people, and even closer to the tipping point of one hundred and fifty?” (pg. 10). For the majority of us who are in those kinds of churches, The Strategically Small Church is insightful, refreshing and motivating, a useful tool in helping us to become all that we need to be.
##########
Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.
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Review 9 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

"Sometimes Small Is Just Right!"

Date:October 26, 2010
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Godspoetic1
Location:SC
Age:35-44
Gender:female
“The Strategically Small Church”
By: Brandon J. O’Brien
“intimate…nimble…authentic…effective…”
I love the quote that the author uses on the back of this book, “blessed are the small”! It can apply to so many areas of our lives, but in his book, he is referring to our churches! In today’s world, most people have the mindset that “bigger is better”, “more is best”, “to have the most is what counts”! Everyone is always keeping up with the Jones’, and sadly this is filtering into our churches today!
Author Brandon O’Brien, does a wonderful job in defining our culture’s captivation with “bigness” in EVERYTHING…from things in our personal lives, such as our homes, to our jobs. One thing leads to another; big, isn’t big enough, then next thing we know, it has slowly trickled into our churches. The author sets out to share with us, that “bigger isn’t always better”, and how sometimes “small is just right”!
He shares how to “direct the focus on fewer programs in the church”, which will intern, lead to greater effectiveness in the long run, and how to gain a “greater level of commitment” within the church. He talks of “celebrating churches that are taking full advantage of their small size”! I believe this is very important, and truly a key component to the success of many a “small” church, as I have witnessed it myself! Many people believe that belonging to that “mega” church is the key to their success and spiritual happiness, but forget that there are many more successful “small” churches, than “mega” churches. This is something that O’Brien asks, is for “churches to rethink what it means to be successful, that sometimes small is just right.”
As per FTC Guidelines, I must state that I was given a review copy of “The Strategically Small Church”, to read from Bethany House Publishers. My opinions are expressly my own, and are in no way positively or negatively influenced, due to receiving this Book to review.
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Review 10 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A BOOK EVERY SMALL CHURCH SHOULD READ!

Date:October 20, 2010
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Moonpie
Location:PRYOR
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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My husband pastors a small church and has for 17 years. Throughout the years I have fallen into some of the traps Mr. O’Brien discusses. Even though I saw our church doing a wonderful ministry in our community, lives changing, people maturing spiritually, sweet fellowship and a close church family, at times I found myself being embarrassed our church was small when someone asked how many attended, or wondering what we were doing wrong.
What a relief I felt when he pointed out that being small is okay, in fact it is the norm. Only 6% of the churches today are large churches, and we have allowed them to set the standard for success the other 94% of us with congregations under 500. (The author was not by any means saying large churches were a bad thing; he acknowledges they have their purpose and place too. )
Larger churches spend their time trying to be like smaller churches and smaller churches spend their time trying to be like larger churches! As he points out, what a waste of ministry, time and resources, be who you are!
Churches each have a unique personality that God uses to reach certain groups of people that only they can. They can also meet needs that larger churches are unable to.
He encourages the small church to be authentic, be who they are and not be ashamed and don’t’ try to imitate other churches or ministries. Intimate relationships are easily formed and they can respond to needs more quickly which shows genuine concern.
The focus of outreach ministries should be for the purpose of serving not growing. Also a smaller church can by far use the gift and passions of their members. God put them there for a purpose and they often overlook these gifts by thinking they should smarter, better teachers, more charismatic etc.
He compares all the small church has to the mustard seed. God can do great things no matter how little.
Something else I had not thought of specifically was that many of today’s children are under parented or unparented. They don’t need a lot of age specific programs to entertain them. They are searching for a church family to be the family they don’t or haven’t ever had; someone to care, talk, listen, guide and share their years of wisdom with.
He discusses in detail how these churches can be authentic, nimble, equipping, intergenerational, and training. I got a lot out of this book and was very encouraged. It helped me realize that my focus should not be on growth and size that is God’s concern, but the work He has for us to do.
I have received this from book Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 11 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Mustard seed exposed

Date:October 18, 2010
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Abbie
Location:Texas
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a book that should be placed in every Pastor's hand...it would even be beneficial for other church leaders such as deacons to read. An excellent resource and encouragement to the Pastor that has felt the pressure of the "Numbers Game". This book exposes with grace and understanding the lie that has been fed to so many church leaders. This lie is that success is numerical growth in the church. This has so saturated the religious world that authentic worship and discipleship has been left to the side. In fact many churches are being run dry financially by trying to achieve greatness in number instead of embracing their own identity in Christ. I think this book does a fantastic job of teaching that each church has areas that God has gifted them in and that they should pursue excellence in those areas to best achieve the kingdom work in their area. After reading this book I began to closely look at our own church and the unique gift of fellowship that our church has - our members genuinely care about others, they have a servant heart and a desire to see children and families experience the Divine presence of the tender Savior. This book would be an encouragement for any Pastor feeling this pressure or on that is on the edge of being "burned out".
Thank you Bethany House for this review copy I truly enjoyed the biblical truths presented within its covers.
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Review 12 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Pleasantly suprised

Date:October 13, 2010
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Twig
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
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5 out of 5
At first when I started reading this book I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about whether or not I would like it but after getting to the middle of the book I realized how much I really enjoyed the book! It had very good points on why a small church can do just as well as a mega-church and sometimes smaller churches can have advantages that a bigger church may not have. I liked how he wrote the book without being judgemental towards having a bigger church. It was very well written and I really enjoyed it.
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Review 13 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 11, 2010
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JCHuffman
Location:Staunton, VA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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Brandon J. O'Brien does an incredible job of helping pastors and laymen see the potential in the church size they have. It's not a matter of numbers, but of utilizing what you do have to impact the world around you...not for the purpose of growing a big church, but for growing His kingdom!
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Review 14 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

bigger isn't always better!

Date:October 4, 2010
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ATaylor
Location:Texas
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
From the start, I would be remiss if I failed to mention two things: First, this book is written for pastors and I am not a pastor. Second, I have lived two church “lives”, the first of which was spent in a church whose weekly attendance ranged from 3,000 to 4,000. My second church life is in progress now; I am part of a much smaller Reformed congregation (around 250 members). Given my experience, you can be certain that I selected this publication because of my established thoughts on church growth.
Mr. O’Brien writes in a relaxed, casual style -- not so that he loses credibility, rather he gains even more of it because the reader feels like they’re chatting with a friend. (After a little research I understood why. If the author is a day older than me, I would be surprised.) The overarching message of this book is that small churches need to be who they are, where they are, for the cause of spreading the Gospel in the unique way they are called to do so. He urges pastors of small congregations not to be swayed by what the few “celebrity pastors” tout as the primary marker of a healthy church -- people, and lots of them. He makes a solid case that local church growth was not the New Testament way, that our focus should stay on growing the Church universal.
O’Brien utilizes a variety of case studies to reveal the weaknesses of larger churches in a gentle way, then contrasts those to the perceived weaknesses of smaller churches. I say “perceived” because O’Brien asserts that these aren’t weaknesses at all, but assets that enable small churches to be more effective at relational evangelism than their super-sized counterparts, mostly through the development of meaningful relationships with the community in which they function. O’Brien references a number of large churches that chose to downsize -- or divide into numerous smaller churches -- that illustrate how his line of thought is not revolutionary, but a logical conclusion to time spent in larger organizations.
Much real estate is devoted to authenticity in the church. O’Brien is careful to deconstruct the culturally-acceptable definition of “authentic” and reveal how this should play out in real life. He examines the tendency for larger churches (with a plethora of programs) to run like large corporations, and how that contradicts the “relevance” they crave. Admittedly, this section is my favorite in the entire book. I found myself shouting excitedly at the pages, “Yes! Exactly! That is precisely how I feel!” For me, this book answered my heart’s cry from my mega-church days, a cry for deep, true Christian intimacy.
A laity training advocate, O’Brien uses the term “organic ministry” to describe allowing church members to take the lead when new ministries bloom within a church. This means that there is no program director who pushes programs that may or may not be necessary (or desired). Instead, as needs arise in the community and church, members who are gifted to lead each ministry will rise to the challenge. Because they have a heart for the cause, the ministry is more likely to be a success as their passion drives it. On a personal note, I believe this is how my current church body functions, and I agree with O’Brien -- the programs that blossom are pertinent in a real sense and are nurtured by those who care the most about them. Also, I think he is correct regarding the need to involve children in service from a young age, giving them age-appropriate opportunities to glorify God. (This doesn’t mean that they only interact with people their own age. O’Brien addresses the issue of the intergenerational church as well.)
Ending his treatise with a final case study -- Antioch Church in Lebanon, Ohio -- O’Brien provides the final inspiration needed to embrace his vision. Above all, this book was an encouragement, as it supported what we’re doing at our own church, by God’s grace. We don’t strive to be someone we’re not. Without reservation, we are who we are: a body of people who seek to share the Lord with others.
*In exchange for my honest opinion, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House.
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Review 15 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Small book, BIG lessons

Date:October 2, 2010
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Anonymous
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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Pastor O’Brien understands that the success of a church cannot be measured by numbers – attendants, offerings, buildings, square feet… On the contrary, it is how much the congregation affects the Kingdom of God and gives its members the opportunity of accountability, participation, spiritual growth, intimacy and belonging. Therefore, these would be the indicators of how effective a church is and would allow its members to be confident in their own strengths, impact their community and provide continuous discipleship that even goes beyond generational differences. Moreover, within such principles, Christians will be able to fully use and develop their own skills. From this perspective, the size (whether large of small) of a church or the number of activities is has do not guarantee that people develop a personal relationship with God, nor dependence on Him.
By using examples from different churches, this book reminds us that churches cannot be affected by worldly principles and that an institution is never to be given more importance than the mission God gave for the church. It challenges Christians to achieve the opposite, affecting the world, by making church essential to people’s lives.
Hopefully, people’s hearts will be open to learn and be refreshed by what Pastor O’Brien has shared through this highly recommendable book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review. This has not influenced my opinion on the book nor on the author.
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Review 16 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great for all who are about of church life.

Date:October 1, 2010
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S Cart
Location:Lorain, Ohio
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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3 out of 5
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3 out of 5
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So I need to ask the obvious question: Does size matter? Much to many men's dismay the answer is yes. Size does matter. Now get your minds out of the gutter. I'm talking about church size.
I grew up in a large church. I always felt as if I was an outsider. Someone that was just lost in the masses. Recently I switched to a much smaller church. I'm thrilled to be there. I love attending services every week and I even love teaching in their Kids Stuf program. Until I read The Strategically Small Church by Brandon J. O'Brien I just thought it was that the congregation was much younger than the one that I grew up in. Brandon J. O'Brien opened my eyes to a new point of view for it.
I was recently given a copy of The Strategically Small Church by Brandon J. O'Brien by Bethany House Publishers. This non-fiction inspiration is a great read for those who attend, minister to and want to develop the small church. O'Brien points out that the small church is able to spread God's work and values. It is the "mustard seed" of the Christian life force.
I highly recommend The Strategically Small Church to all. It brings you back the the basics of why you in a church and why you are working to spread and teach God's word and the wonders of Jesus Christ.
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Review 17 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 30, 2010
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Paul Wilkinson
Less than 1% of the total number of churches in the U.S. are what are considered mega-churches, yet in book after book, conference after conference, it is those churches and their leaders who are setting the agenda and the criteria for what constitutes success in ministry....It can be disheartening for smaller churches faced with the impossible task of trying to keep up when the larger successes seem to dictate the programming one needs to have, and even the language used to discuss it....Brandon J. Obrien, an editor at large for Leadership magazine is figuratively spitting into the wind of conventional wisdom with his new book, The Strategically Small Church. He says, "If we could just silence the experts for a few hours, we might have the time and imagination to begin thinking about our ministries in a new way." (p. 156)....He gives example after example of small(er) churches which are able to excel in areas such as authenticity, flexibility, training and equipping; not to mention the growing awareness that new priority needs to be placed on inter-generational ministry, something small churches do well.
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Review 18 for The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 25, 2010
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David J Robinson
For more than thirty years the American Church has been fascinated by bigness. We have listened to mega church leaders tell us how to grow larger and, thus implied, more successful churches. We have become infatuated by the high profile pastors and their how-to-do-it principles of ministering to each segment of society. And in spite of that attention, more than ninety percent of our churches have less than one hundred people in attendance. Brandon J. OBrien has given us reasons to affirm churches that are smaller in size. Rather than define smallness by numbers, he refers to it being more a state of mind. Smallness does not necessarily mean mediocrity. He does not say that small churches are naturally healthy churches. While acknowledging that the use of the word strategic does not mean that the church sets out to be small, the author indicates that for many, smallness is to be celebrated. There are some incredible strategic advantages to being a small church. The small church can be more intimate than one with hundreds of people. The small church can be able to focus its ministry on a few things rather than trying to minister to all the needs of the community. The small church also has an authenticity brought about by a family atmosphere that communicates to folks that they are real. And the small church is more effective in producing disciples that become Spiritual leaders.These are messages that small churches and their pastors need to hear. While the book wasnt written for any particular denomination, it contains principles that any church can build upon. It ought to challenge church leaders to recognize the strategic strengths of the small church and quit wasting energy on trying to duplicate the ministries of the large church. It is a book that has challenged me to rethink my views of what a successful ministry can be. I recommend that it become required reading for church leaders (if that is possible).
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