with Karl Vaters
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: 99.9% of 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
Pastoring a small church is not a penalty, it’s a specialty
- And it’s worth doing well
Session 2: Thinking Like A Great Small Church
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?
People will come to small churches, but they won’t give up quality to do so
- Quality looks different in a small church than a big church
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 they behave
Big church principles center on process, systems & curriculum
- Small church principles center on relationships, culture & history
- Minister for the size you are, while setting up systems for double your size
- The Sweet Spot: God, the church and the pastor’s hearts meet
- The Default: God and the pastor, but not the church
- The Listening Place: God and the church, but not the pastor
- The Danger Zone: The Church and the pastor, but not God
Don’t do what your founders did, think like your founders thought
Session 3: Becoming A Healthy Church, No Matter Your Size
Discover what your church does well, then 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?
The three essential elements of a healthy, effective church
- Great Commandment
- Great Commission
- Equipping the Saints
- Unhealthy churches aren’t doing the Great Commandment, the Great Commission or equipping the saints
- Loving, but ineffective churches are doing the Great Commandment, but not the Great Commission or equipping the saints
- Overwhelmed pastors are doing the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, but are not equipping the saints
- Healthy, effective churches and pastors are doing all three
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: Finding & Mentoring Volunteers In Today’s (And Tomorrow’s) Small Church
- The way people give is changing
- The way people commit is changing
- The way people attend is changing
- The way people trust is changing
- Brand loyalty is dead
- Previous generations had relationships and built structures
- This generation has structures and needs to build relationships
- 10, 50, 100, 1,000
- Look for Level 10 leaders, first
- Value passion and willingness over experience and status