The Church of God in Michigan
Small Church Essentials
Flint, MI | May 20, 2023
Index of Sessions
Session 1 | Redefining Success In Ministry
What is The Grasshopper Myth?
The false impression that our small church ministry is less than what God says it is because we compare ourselves with others.
All the people we saw there are of great size. …We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them. – Numbers 13:32-33
- Reality #1: 80-90% of churches will never be larger than 250 people
- Reality #2: Virtually all pastors will pastor a small church for at least some time in our ministry
- Reality #3: You can lead a small church well, without settling for less
Don’t fall for IKEA Envy
The church needs to embrace its “long tail”
Session 2 | Big Churches, Small Churches – What’s the Difference?
“Over 90% of our churches are under 200, over 80% are under 100”
- First Reaction: Oh no!
- Second Reaction: So what?
- Final Reaction: Now what?
Responsive Design must be the standard for all church resources from now on
Many big church principles don’t translate well to a small church context
The Law of Large Numbers: the bigger the crowd, the more predictably it behaves
Big church leadership emphasizes process, systems & programs
Session 3 | How to Discover and Use What Your Church Does Well
The three essential elements of a healthy, effective church
- Great Commandment
- Great Commission
- Equipping God’s People
Do what you know to do, pay attention to what works, and why
After you discover what your church does well, do it on purpose
Use the “closet rule” for ministries: Don’t add a new one until you’ve dropped an old one
- What does your church do well, that you would like to do more of?
- What does your church do poorly, that you would like to do less of?
Move out of a destination mindset and into a process orientation
- Churches can handle change, but they don’t like to be surprised
- Give the leaders time to ponder big decisions
Session 4 | Leading The Post-Pandemic Church
Keys to post-pandemic recovery
Churches that thrived during & after the pandemic had
- Resources in reserve
- Team-based leadership
We’re all experiencing multiple levels of severe trauma
When people are in trauma they can’t hear explanations
- They need familiarity and stability
Everyone has a default reaction to trauma
Denial >> Anger >> Bargaining >> Depression >> Acceptance
Recognize your own trauma first
- Don’t let your trigger become your truth
When times are normal, leaders inspire change
Conversations on Faith & Ministry
Every two weeks, Karl interviews a church leader about the topics that concern pastors, especially those who minister in a small church context.
Most of our real-life conversations about faith and ministry happen in church lobbies, both as a congregation and pastor-to-pastor. In The Church Lobby podcast, that’s what we do.
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