Exponential 2015

10 Principles for Innovative Ministry In the Small Church

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


TGM box sale 250cThree undeniable realities of pastoral ministry:

  • Reality #1: 80-90% of pastors will never pastor a church 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 pastor a Small Church well, without settling for less


10 Principles for Innovative Ministry In the Small Church

  1. Beware of IKEA Envy
  1. Don’t just do ministry in the church, do ministry from the church
  1. Discover what your church does well, then do it on purpose
  1. Front-load the value: feature what you do well
  1. 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?
  1. Value people over facilities
  1. Keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive as long as possible
  1. Stop thinking like a big church
  1. Innovation happens with methods, not style or theology
  1. Move out of a destination mindset and into a process orientation


Karl VatersCornerstoneFV.comNewSmallChurch.comChristianityToday.com/Karl-Vaters