Ministry in real-life Mayberry has its blessings and challenges. Steve Lindsley, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Mt. Airy, NC, says it's great to be involved in such a loving community, however the financial struggles take a toll.
In this interview, Steve tells us how the laying off of the church music director has actually invigorated the church's worship - and how the congregation has grown despite signs of hardship all around.
Heed the wisdom of this seasoned and dedicated pastor.
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Steve Lindsley says promoting his congregation's natural penchant toward openness and invitation pays great dividends. Here are my notes from the interview:
Great Things Happen in Small Churches
The opportunities of intimate fellowship and collegiality are some of the advantages smaller churches have over larger ones - and perhaps why most churches are small. Steve does his best to promote, not control, the friendly atmosphere where the Spirit freely moves.
Outreach is Key
Quoting a friend who says, 'The Church is not here to meet your needs, but to meet God's needs,' Steve highlights the importance of mission and outreach in maintaining a vibrant community - not just for youth, but for all.
In the wake of difficult economic realities, the letting go of the music director allowed others in the congregation to step up and share their musical gifts which, Steve says, have led to new places of vibrancy for the congregation.
About Steve Lindsley
When Steve Lindsley is not being pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Mount Airy, NC, or sermonizing, or songwriting/gigging, or keynoting/leading music for various retreats and conferences, or teaching Old and New Testament at his local community college, or blogging, or running and swimming and practicing yoga, or playing pickup basketball with his two sons and letting them win, or watching music competition reality TV shows with his lovely wife, it probably means he's sleeping.
Books Steve Recommends
A New And Right Spirit: Creating An Authentic Church In A Consumer Culture - Rick Barger
unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity...and Why It Matters - David Kinnamon
American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us - Robert Putnam