Edify Conference

Session 1: Redefining Success In Ministry


What is The Grasshopper Myth?

TGM box sale 250cThe 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


Three undeniable realities of pastoral ministry:

  • 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


Bigger fixes nothing


Over 1 billion people choose to worship Jesus in small churches


Small is not a problem, a virtue or an excuse


Big changes come from small places


Session 2: Big Or Small? What’s the Difference?


BC SC circles

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

The smaller the crowd, the more impact each person has – for good and bad


Big church principles center on process, systems & curriculum

Small church principles center on relationships, culture & history


A Simple 5-Step Discipleship Process for Any Small Church (That Won’t Wear Out the Pastor)

  1. Meet with every new believer and potential leader
  2. Determine how they learn and grow
  3. Connect them with a mature believer and the right resources
  4. Help them plug Into an active ministry that utilizes their gifts
  5. As people mature, call on them to start leading others


New generations will not build the kind of churches their parents built


There will always be a place for great small churches


Session 3: Becoming a Great Small Church

People will come to small churches, but they won’t give up quality to do so


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?


Move out of a destination mindset and into a process orientation


Don’t let your experience stifle your adaptability


Challenges for the current and future church

  • The way people giveis changing
  • The way people commit is changing
  • The way people attend is changing
  • The way people trust is changing
  • Brand loyalty is dead


When thinking small saved the world


Karl Vaters • CornerstoneFV.com 

NewSmallChurch.com • ChristianityToday.com/Karl-Vaters

Facebook.com/NewSmallChurch • @KarlVaters