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
Big changes come from small places
Session 2: Big or Small? What’s the Difference?
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
Session 3: Why Is My Church So Weird?
1. The Sweet Spot: God, the Church & the Pastor’s Hearts Meet
2. The Default: God & the Pastor, but not the Church
3. The Listening Place: God & the Church, but not the Pastor
4. The Danger Zone: The Church & the Pastor, but not God
Casting vision is different in a small church
- It’s important to reverse the flow of information
The Acts 2 Model for Vision-Casting
How I Was Taught Vision-Casting
Questions to Ponder:
1: How could the Acts 2 model help my pastoral ministry?
2: What can I do to reverse the flow of information from the congregation to the leadership?
3: How can my church and I start listening to God together?
4: What can I do to start increasing the size of my churches God/Church/Pastor Sweet Spot?
Session 4: Becoming a Great Small Church
Discover what your church does well, then do it on purpose
Use the Jethro system to raise up mentors
- 10, 50, 100, 1,000
- Look for Level 10 leaders, first
- Use the building to serve people, not vice versa
New generations will not build the kind of churches their parents built
Session 5: Your Church Is Big Enough
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
- Churches can handle change, but they don’t like to be surprised
Don’t let your experience stifle your adaptability
- 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
Questions to ponder:
1: What does my church do well, that we could do more of?
2: What does my church do poorly, that we should do less of?
3: Does my church have more of a destination mindset, or a process orientation? Express as a percentage. (eg 50/50)
- Is this a healthy balance? If not, what can I do to help bring it into a better balance?
Karl Vaters • CornerstoneFV.com