Notebook Brigade Resources

Small(er) Church Notebook Brigade

Foothills Presbytery

Small Church Christian Education Emphasis 


Session 1 – May 23, 2015

  AM    Why Christian Education Is Important & Planning the Christian Education Program

  PM   Those All-Important Leaders  (enlisting, training, supporting them)


Session 2 – August 15, 2015

 AM    Teaching “A Few” Children and Youth

 PM     “Kicking Off” Your Programs for the Year: Advent/Christmas/Epiphany Ideas/Resources


Session 3 – November 14, 2015

 AM     Youth Ministry in the Small Church

 PM     Lent/Easter Ideas/Resources


Session 4 – TBA

 AM      Teaching Adults in the Small Churches

 PM      Adult Resources and How to Choose Them

Summer Programs for the Small Church (including VBS)      


Sponsored by Small Church Leadership Team

Presbyterian Foundation Assessment

To find the Presbyterian Foundation Assessment, please click here.

Cover Letter

Dear Friends in Small(er) Church Ministry,

I have been asked over and over about church transformation, revitalization, assessments, consultants, etc. All with the underlying theme reflecting the challenges of ministry in the 21 Century context: Financial Resources, membership loss, committed volunteer leaders, worship, spiritual formation, support for Pastors, etc.

This is a great visual image which captures the clear challenge many of us our facing in our churches. While we have been busy serving, in the name of Christ, the sands have been shifting beneath our feet.

There are no one-size fits all solutions to bridge our way back across the waters. The first step is conversation, awareness, and then facing the reality of adaptive change. Taking part in the Foothills Small Membership Church forums is a way to begin. It is your chance to sit around the table with members and leaders of other small churches in our Presbytery and share ideas and possibilities about ways we can all “do church” together. Our next gathering is scheduled for Thursday January 29th at Piedmont Presbyterian.

There are so many resources available. The information attached is a “living” list, ever changing and is never ending. So, I am starting with a short-list of organizations that specialize in working with churches on finances, evaluation and assessments. I have also attached and article on clusters one of our Pastors wrote and shared with us in the Smaller Church forums and a list of resources sheet available to you in your Presbytery resource center.

I will be creating a Small Membership Congregations page on facebook for anyone who would like to share resources and best practices. As we begin to put together tools and resources we will share them with the group.


Grace and Peace in Christ,

Debbie Foster
Associate Presbytery Pastor and Associate Stated Clerk Foothills Presbytery


Cover Letter PDF

Congregational Assessment Tool

Congregational Assessment Tool PDF

Foothills Presbytery
Smaller Membership Worshipping Communities
Working Group

Church Assessments:

  1. Mission Study
  2. Leadership Needs
  3. Pastoral Leadership
  4. Session Leadership
  5. Worship, Education, Nurture
  6. Mission Outreach
  7. Financial Health (Presbyterian Foundation Assessment Tools)


Community Assessments:

  1. Demographic Studies
  2. Relationship with other Presbyterian Congregations in the area
  3. Ecumenical Relationships
  4. Relationships to existing care agencies


Leadership Models:

  1. Solo Pastorates
  2. Yoking
  3. Part Time Stated Supplies
  4. Formation of a Greater Parish
  5. Becoming a Chapel of a larger congregation


Shared Ministry/ Mission Work (Building Relationships)

  1. Joint Children’s/ Youth Ministry
  2. Joint Educational opportunities
  3. Joint Celebrations (ex. Advent, Lent, National Holidays, travel)
  4. Joint Mission projects


“Hospice” Work (exploring future possibilities)

  1. becoming a mission center
  2. becoming a locale for a New Worshipping Community
  3. becoming a chapel of a larger congregation
  4. closing with grace and thanksgiving


Presbytery Connections and Celebrations

  1. Presbytery wide celebrations
  2. Presbytery Education Events particular to small congregations
  3. Best Practices (Polity, Policies, Procedures, Docs/Forms, etc.)