Meeting people’s needs is a big part of the church’s mandate. Tasks like feeding the poor, caring for children and widows, and helping addicts find freedom is essential to loving our neighbors as Christ has loved us.
But meeting people’s “felt” needs has always been a slippery slope because people tend to feel their most immediate needs, but often have little or no understanding of what their truer, deeper needs really are.
Since the church is no longer the only place for people to get their physical, social and emotional needs met, what role do we serve now, if any?
Karl produces resources for Helping Small Churches Thrive at KarlVaters.com.
He's the author of four books on church leadership. His fifth book, De-Sizing the Church: How Church Growth Became a Science, Then an Obsession, and What's Next, releases on April 2, 2024.
He also hosts a bi-weekly podcast,The Church Lobby: Conversations on Faith & Ministry. Episodes feature in-depth interviews about the topics that concern pastors, especially those who minister in a small church context.
Karl has served in small-church ministry for over 40 years, so he speaks and writes from decades of hands-on pastoral experience. He and his wife, Shelley have three children and two grandkids.