CONTACT ME

Conversation 200cStarting a conversation is what this website is all about.

  • Got a question?
  • An idea?
  • A complaint?

Let me know about it. You have two options:

  • Fill in the comment form. It will come straight to me.
  • If you want your comment to be public, jump in on the stream of comments below.

I’ll do my best to get back to you within 24 hours – 48 on the weekend. (I do try to keep Sabbath rest on Saturday and church on Sunday. Just like you, right?)

 

(Conversation logo from Tsahi Levent-Levi • Flickr • Creative Commons license)

59 thoughts on “CONTACT ME”

  1. This is a great site! I just found it through a fellow PW of a small church in Canada. I’m passing on the link to my pastor-hubby. You are saying so many of the things we’ve said for years…but felt like there still must be something wrong with our ministry here in Kentucky as our church continues to remain small in numbers. Thanks so much for saying what needs to be said in such a positive and encouraging way!

    1. That’s so great to hear! Maybe the only people who struggle more than pastors with the challenges, insecurities and unrealistic expectations of Small Church ministry, are their spouses – and sometimes their kids.

      I’m grateful to God if anything I’m doing here can help you and your husband find relief from the false burden that numbers measure your success.

      A workman who “correctly handles the Word of truth” does not need to be ashamed (2 Tim 2:15).

      And, as a not-so-perfect-pastor myself, I love the idea of “notsoperfectpw’ as your screen name.

  2. This is a great site! I just found it through a fellow PW of a small church in Canada. I’m passing on the link to my pastor-hubby. You are saying so many of the things we’ve said for years…but felt like there still must be something wrong with our ministry here in Kentucky as our church continues to remain small in numbers. Thanks so much for saying what needs to be said in such a positive and encouraging way!

    1. That’s so great to hear! Maybe the only people who struggle more than pastors with the challenges, insecurities and unrealistic expectations of Small Church ministry, are their spouses – and sometimes their kids.

      I’m grateful to God if anything I’m doing here can help you and your husband find relief from the false burden that numbers measure your success.

      A workman who “correctly handles the Word of truth” does not need to be ashamed (2 Tim 2:15).

      And, as a not-so-perfect-pastor myself, I love the idea of “notsoperfectpw’ as your screen name.

  3. Pastor Karl, Thanks for putting this site up. I pastor a small Assembly of God church in Northeast Montana( avg 60 on Sunday). I have the wonderful privilege to serve a community of about 600. I want to thank you for the encouragement of being a small church. I have done the bigger church thing and I love the small church. I just found your site today and look forward to reading and gleaning to help make myself a better shepherd for the flock that is entrusted to me. Thank you again. Mike

  4. Pastor Karl, Thanks for putting this site up. I pastor a small Assembly of God church in Northeast Montana( avg 60 on Sunday). I have the wonderful privilege to serve a community of about 600. I want to thank you for the encouragement of being a small church. I have done the bigger church thing and I love the small church. I just found your site today and look forward to reading and gleaning to help make myself a better shepherd for the flock that is entrusted to me. Thank you again. Mike

  5. Good Morning Karl, I once again want to thank you for the Friday (5/17/13 )Conference in Wofford Heights. It was a wonderful ministry and I could feel your heart in the words you shared. I wish I could tell small church pastors just how much they are loved, needed, gfifted, appreciated, and blessed in such a way that they could see how much God is using them. They are touching hearts in a (mega way)! So few members really understand the makings and talent of a good pastor, it goes way beyond Sunday mornings. Pastor Scott baptized 8 or 9 beautiful people into the Lord’s family in the Kern River on Sunday. He Cares Fellowship is an amazing flock who wants “more” of God and Pastor Scott is leading us, he is our shepherd…an example of what a small church Pastor can do. In my heart and prayers, Diane Carr

  6. Good Morning Karl, I once again want to thank you for the Friday (5/17/13 )Conference in Wofford Heights. It was a wonderful ministry and I could feel your heart in the words you shared. I wish I could tell small church pastors just how much they are loved, needed, gfifted, appreciated, and blessed in such a way that they could see how much God is using them. They are touching hearts in a (mega way)! So few members really understand the makings and talent of a good pastor, it goes way beyond Sunday mornings. Pastor Scott baptized 8 or 9 beautiful people into the Lord’s family in the Kern River on Sunday. He Cares Fellowship is an amazing flock who wants “more” of God and Pastor Scott is leading us, he is our shepherd…an example of what a small church Pastor can do. In my heart and prayers, Diane Carr

  7. I get the difference between the Rancher & Shepherd. I definitely want to shepherd my people, not manage them. BUT, how do you build meaningful relationships with 125-150 people without losing sleep, and your sanity?

  8. I get the difference between the Rancher & Shepherd. I definitely want to shepherd my people, not manage them. BUT, how do you build meaningful relationships with 125-150 people without losing sleep, and your sanity?

    1. Now THAT would be a great subject for a session at a minister’s conference, Paul. Those are the kinds of skills so many of us need, but never get taught.

      Your question has spurred me to write an article on this idea. Maybe in the next couple of weeks.

      For now, let me say that in a church of that size, the pastor has to prioritize his time. Invest in leaders and potential leaders first – those that have the greatest potential to grow. And don’t let the chronically needy drain you. Jesus himself said “the poor you will always have with you”. I’ve learned to apply that to the emotionally poor. There will always be emotionally needy people who will want to monopolize your time and sap your emotional strength. It takes discipline to be proactive about relationships, not reactive.

      That’s just a quick off-the-top bite for now. I’ll let you know when I write a full post on it. Thanks for the nudge!

  9. Thank you! Love the change from “we are better because we are bigger” mentality that is out there. That said…I remember a conversation I had with a denomination leader. Normally when preachers get together, the questions are: “How many were in worship? How many visitors? How many did you baptize? How many in Sunday School?” Since I pastor a church between 80-100, I know where my members are even when they are absent. So my friend began with those questions and I stopped him short with: “I’m tired of those questions because they do not fit reality of church life.” I had been serving ten years at that point. So I said, “In the past ten years, I have had zero divorces among the families that attend. Two children born the first year I pastored, got saved this year and I baptized them. Our budget has changed. We use to be happy if we brought in 75% of what we budgeted for but for the past three years we bring in more than we budgeted. We have had baptisms every year some as low as 3 and as high as 13 and this while dealing with turnover of a nearby Navy base.” My friend, the denomination leader was so impressed that the next denomination paper had an article about rethinking our use of numbers and repeated much of what I said (he had my permission of course).

  10. Thank you! Love the change from “we are better because we are bigger” mentality that is out there. That said…I remember a conversation I had with a denomination leader. Normally when preachers get together, the questions are: “How many were in worship? How many visitors? How many did you baptize? How many in Sunday School?” Since I pastor a church between 80-100, I know where my members are even when they are absent. So my friend began with those questions and I stopped him short with: “I’m tired of those questions because they do not fit reality of church life.” I had been serving ten years at that point. So I said, “In the past ten years, I have had zero divorces among the families that attend. Two children born the first year I pastored, got saved this year and I baptized them. Our budget has changed. We use to be happy if we brought in 75% of what we budgeted for but for the past three years we bring in more than we budgeted. We have had baptisms every year some as low as 3 and as high as 13 and this while dealing with turnover of a nearby Navy base.” My friend, the denomination leader was so impressed that the next denomination paper had an article about rethinking our use of numbers and repeated much of what I said (he had my permission of course).

  11. I’d appreciate any ideas related to comments I just submitted to Karl regarding his article, “Smaller Churches Can do Discipleship-Without Wearing Out the Pastor:”

    Name: Richard
    Email: mac@hmsinet.ca
    Website:
    Comment: Hi Karl. I appreciated reading your article “Small Churches Can Do Discipleship”. I wonder if you can help me with a couple of things. 1. On your point #1 Meet every new believer; do you expect the small church pastor only to do this? 2. On your point #2, “Determine how they learn and grow”; How do we learn what learning styles there are and how to tell which learning style people have? Same question regarding the temperaments. 3. On point #3 “Connect them with a Mature Believer and the Right Resources”; How do we find and fit and connect mature believers with new believers? 4. On point #4, “Help them plug Into an Active Ministry That Utiliizes Their Gifts”; How do you determine what their gifts are and what ministry would fit that?

    1. Hi Richard. Wow, it might take a second blog post to answer all that! But I’ll try in this comment.

      1. In very small churches yes, I think the pastor should meet with every new believer. In mid-size churches, (100-200) the pastor needs to disciple others to take some of this load.

      2. For me, determining people’s learning style is a simple process (because I’m a simple guy). I ask about their background and family. I ask how they liked school. Do they like to read? Are they more hands-on? More relationship-oriented? What do they do in their spare time? What was their best learning experience in the past? Their worst? Who was their favorite teacher and why? I just get nosy until I feel like I have a handle on things.

      Then I suggest an idea or two and ask if that sounds like something that might work for them. I also give them a guilt-free “out”. If the selected style doesn’t work for them, they can come to me at any time and we’ll find another way to get it done.

      3. This point flows from point 2. Once I have a handle on their learning style, I match them up with a mentor that corresponds best to that – which I already know because I’ve already met with mentors about this in advance.

      4. There are some great spiritual gifts surveys online. Rick Warren’s S.H.A.P.E. profile is also good. I also ask them what kinds of ministries they are interested in, have done previously or needs that they’re aware of.

      I hope this helps.

  12. I’d appreciate any ideas related to comments I just submitted to Karl regarding his article, “Smaller Churches Can do Discipleship-Without Wearing Out the Pastor:”

    Name: Richard
    Email: mac@hmsinet.ca
    Website:
    Comment: Hi Karl. I appreciated reading your article “Small Churches Can Do Discipleship”. I wonder if you can help me with a couple of things. 1. On your point #1 Meet every new believer; do you expect the small church pastor only to do this? 2. On your point #2, “Determine how they learn and grow”; How do we learn what learning styles there are and how to tell which learning style people have? Same question regarding the temperaments. 3. On point #3 “Connect them with a Mature Believer and the Right Resources”; How do we find and fit and connect mature believers with new believers? 4. On point #4, “Help them plug Into an Active Ministry That Utiliizes Their Gifts”; How do you determine what their gifts are and what ministry would fit that?

    1. Hi Richard. Wow, it might take a second blog post to answer all that! But I’ll try in this comment.

      1. In very small churches yes, I think the pastor should meet with every new believer. In mid-size churches, (100-200) the pastor needs to disciple others to take some of this load.

      2. For me, determining people’s learning style is a simple process (because I’m a simple guy). I ask about their background and family. I ask how they liked school. Do they like to read? Are they more hands-on? More relationship-oriented? What do they do in their spare time? What was their best learning experience in the past? Their worst? Who was their favorite teacher and why? I just get nosy until I feel like I have a handle on things.

      Then I suggest an idea or two and ask if that sounds like something that might work for them. I also give them a guilt-free “out”. If the selected style doesn’t work for them, they can come to me at any time and we’ll find another way to get it done.

      3. This point flows from point 2. Once I have a handle on their learning style, I match them up with a mentor that corresponds best to that – which I already know because I’ve already met with mentors about this in advance.

      4. There are some great spiritual gifts surveys online. Rick Warren’s S.H.A.P.E. profile is also good. I also ask them what kinds of ministries they are interested in, have done previously or needs that they’re aware of.

      I hope this helps.

  13. Carlos Andres Angulo

    hola buenas tardes soy pastor de una iglesia pequeña en Colombia, la cual esta ubicada en un pueblo llamado quinchia, quisiera saber si tienen matrial en español ya que yo no hablo ingles, y me toca ayudarme de un traductor de antemano muchas gracias

    translation
    hello good afternoon I am pastor of a small church in Colombia, which is located in a town called Quinchia, I wonder if they have matrial in Spanish because I do not speak English, and I have to help a translator in advance thank you very much

    1. Hi Carlos. I am currently working to get The Grasshopper Myth translated into Spanish. To get this website in Spanish, go to the bottom of the page. You will see a drop-down that says “Read Us In Your Language”. Click on that and select Spanish. It’s not a great translation, but it is readable.

      1. muchas gracias, me gustaría que por favor me avisara cuando lo tenga en español para poderlo compra.

        traducción

        thank you very much , I would like you to please let me know when you have it in Spanish so that it can purchase.

  14. Carlos Andres Angulo

    hola buenas tardes soy pastor de una iglesia pequeña en Colombia, la cual esta ubicada en un pueblo llamado quinchia, quisiera saber si tienen matrial en español ya que yo no hablo ingles, y me toca ayudarme de un traductor de antemano muchas gracias

    translation
    hello good afternoon I am pastor of a small church in Colombia, which is located in a town called Quinchia, I wonder if they have matrial in Spanish because I do not speak English, and I have to help a translator in advance thank you very much

    1. Hi Carlos. I am currently working to get The Grasshopper Myth translated into Spanish. To get this website in Spanish, go to the bottom of the page. You will see a drop-down that says “Read Us In Your Language”. Click on that and select Spanish. It’s not a great translation, but it is readable.

      1. muchas gracias, me gustaría que por favor me avisara cuando lo tenga en español para poderlo compra.

        traducción

        thank you very much , I would like you to please let me know when you have it in Spanish so that it can purchase.

  15. Hi, Karl. I found your site yesterday when I was doing some research to answer a church facilities question on my podcast. I subscribed to your newsletter and ordered your book. I spent 20 years as a small church pastor and for the past 8 years have served as Executive Director/Director of Missions of Harvest Baptist Association. I also do church consulting and coaching, blog, and produce a weekly podcast – Your Church Matters. My target audience is small to medium sized churches. There are not nearly enough resources directed toward the 90% of churches that have less than 400 in attendance. I’m really glad to have found your site as a resource. I mentioned your article yesterday and linked to it in the podcast – drgerrylewis.com/058

    Blessings to you.

  16. Hi, Karl. I found your site yesterday when I was doing some research to answer a church facilities question on my podcast. I subscribed to your newsletter and ordered your book. I spent 20 years as a small church pastor and for the past 8 years have served as Executive Director/Director of Missions of Harvest Baptist Association. I also do church consulting and coaching, blog, and produce a weekly podcast – Your Church Matters. My target audience is small to medium sized churches. There are not nearly enough resources directed toward the 90% of churches that have less than 400 in attendance. I’m really glad to have found your site as a resource. I mentioned your article yesterday and linked to it in the podcast – drgerrylewis.com/058

    Blessings to you.

    1. I’m glad you found the site, Gerry. I haven’t had the chance to listen to the podcast yet, but I read the post and I appreciate your take on it. If I can ever help you in any way, let me know.

  17. Pastor Karl:

    I have loved your book since it came out! I have had my leaders and second year students at our ELN (Masters commission) read it, and have heard you speak at a Local Foursquare pastors meeting, Excellent!
    How do I preach this to my congregation? Where is the sermon series outline or transcript? Have you or anyone else done a series introducing this material to the church?

    Let me know!

    Thanks!

    Pastor Paul Thiemens
    The Lighthouse Church of Long Beach
    562-335-8153

  18. Pastor Karl:

    I have loved your book since it came out! I have had my leaders and second year students at our ELN (Masters commission) read it, and have heard you speak at a Local Foursquare pastors meeting, Excellent!
    How do I preach this to my congregation? Where is the sermon series outline or transcript? Have you or anyone else done a series introducing this material to the church?

    Let me know!

    Thanks!

    Pastor Paul Thiemens
    The Lighthouse Church of Long Beach
    562-335-8153

  19. Hi Karl,

    We follow you on Twitter and love the idea of this website! We are church website designers and our clients are generally small church pastors or their staff. We just wrote a blog post about how a website can be a very effective tool for small churches to share their message. We would like to offer it to you to share either on your website or social media networks if you’d like to.

    Thanks!

  20. Hi Karl,

    We follow you on Twitter and love the idea of this website! We are church website designers and our clients are generally small church pastors or their staff. We just wrote a blog post about how a website can be a very effective tool for small churches to share their message. We would like to offer it to you to share either on your website or social media networks if you’d like to.

    Thanks!

  21. I would like permission to use material from your site. I am starting a group of concerned church members to pray, learn, and brainstorm on being the church Jesus wants us to be. I would like to use some of your material, currently your articles on Turnaround with this group. I pastor a small (33 average attendance 2016) and am always looking for material I can use. Thank you.

  22. I would like permission to use material from your site. I am starting a group of concerned church members to pray, learn, and brainstorm on being the church Jesus wants us to be. I would like to use some of your material, currently your articles on Turnaround with this group. I pastor a small (33 average attendance 2016) and am always looking for material I can use. Thank you.

  23. Hi Karl,
    I like your approach to disciple making. May I use yours steps in an approach to mentoring and disciplining new members at our church. I would like to reference your ideas in my research paper on Discipleship at Liberty University online studies. I am creating a Personal Discipleship Plan for my class. I plan to ask my pastor and Sunday School teacher if we could start a small discipleship class for new members in our church. So often new believers don’t get enough training and fall back out of the church and don’t grow.
    Thank you,
    Jo Ann
    Chaplain

  24. Hi Karl,
    I like your approach to disciple making. May I use yours steps in an approach to mentoring and disciplining new members at our church. I would like to reference your ideas in my research paper on Discipleship at Liberty University online studies. I am creating a Personal Discipleship Plan for my class. I plan to ask my pastor and Sunday School teacher if we could start a small discipleship class for new members in our church. So often new believers don’t get enough training and fall back out of the church and don’t grow.
    Thank you,
    Jo Ann
    Chaplain

  25. Hi Karl, love your blog and books! I’m a small town small church pastor in Manitoba Canada!

    I just heard you on the 200 Churches Podcast and you mentioned that there are a dozen or so voices speaking into small church pastors. I’m wondering if you could point me towards some of them that you would recommend? Would love to hear more advice and guidance for the small church pastors!

  26. Hi Karl, love your blog and books! I’m a small town small church pastor in Manitoba Canada!

    I just heard you on the 200 Churches Podcast and you mentioned that there are a dozen or so voices speaking into small church pastors. I’m wondering if you could point me towards some of them that you would recommend? Would love to hear more advice and guidance for the small church pastors!

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