Driving through Texas country roads one autumn day, Jim Graff began to get a glimpse of a dilemma that would ignite a passion in his heart. In small town after small town, great football stadiums, built with the finest materials and engineering skills available, stood as monuments to America’s love affair with football.
But often, those same communities were filled with struggling churches. This observation helped Jim to embrace God’s heart for small town America.
A pastor of a small town church himself, Pastor Jim Graff commissioned a survey in the year 2000 to gather research on churches in small and medium sized counties across the nation. Over 2,783 counties with a population under 150,000 were studied. These counties combined represented 90 million people in approximately 15,000 smaller cities and towns. If considered as their own nation, they would be the 13th largest nation on earth.
The survey gave insight into the untapped potential that lies in small county America. It revealed many remarkable pastors and churches that have significant impact in their communities. But the research also revealed that there are many overlooked areas in need of vibrant, life-giving churches. A mission was born to see churches, capable of having a significant impact on their local community, develop in every county in America.
The Significant Church Network is comprised of churches at every stage of development. All desire to see God’s work have a significant impact in their community.
The Significant Church Network exists to help foster relationships among church leaders, provide mentoring and resources, and to be a source of strength and encouragement to church leaders in smaller counties.
The Significant Church Network was founded and is led by Pastor Jim Graff of Faith Family Church in Victoria, Texas. Pastors from across the country are partnering with Jim, building the network. Many of these pastors are leading congregations that have grown to over 2% of their county’s population — a benchmark for significant, community changing impact.
Together, these visionary pastors are investing the wealth of their experience to develop churches in smaller counties across America.