Minnesota AG 2019 Equip Conference

Taught by Karl Vaters

Breakout 1: Finding and Mentoring Volunteers in Today’s (and Tomorrow’s) Church, No Matter Your Size

Challenges for the current and future church

  • 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

Start with one

Find leaders by looking for servants

  • Value passion and willingness over experience and status
  • It’s easier to teach a servant to lead than to teach a leader to serve

Invest in willingness and availability, not titles and skills

Be more relational than programmatic

The three main ways pastors spend their ministry hours

The bigger the church, the more time needs to be spent on communication skills

  • The smaller the church, the more time needs to be spent on relationship development

Use the Jethro system to raise up leaders

  • 10, 50, 100, 1,000
  • Look for Level 10 leaders, first


Breakout 3: Three Ways a Small Church Can Be an Effective Church

“Over 90% of our churches are under 200, over 80% are under 100”

  • First Reaction: Oh no!
  • Second Reaction: So what?
  • Final Reaction: Now what?

1. Know your small church can be an effective church

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


2. Know how small churches function differently from big churches

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


3. Understand and use the unique DNA of your small church for God’s glory

Big churches prioritize process, systems & programs

(Need help changing your church culture? I recommend Dirt Matters, by Jim Powell.)

It’s OK for a pastor’s vision to be helping God’s people fulfill their vision



Breakout 4: Equipping the People You Have to Reach the People You Don’t Have

The pastoral prime mandate: to equip God’s people for works of service (Ephesians 4:11-12)

The three essential elements of a healthy, effective church:

  1. Great Commandment
  2. Great Commission
  3. Equipping God’s people
  • Unhealthy churches aren’t doing the Great Commandment, the Great Commission or equipping God’s people
  • Loving, but ineffective churches are doing the Great Commandment, but not the Great Commission or equipping God’s people
  • Overwhelmed pastors are doing the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, but are not equipping God’s people
  • Healthy, effective churches and pastors are doing all three

Creating margin for increased health and effective ministry


The Acts 2 model for vision-casting (from Small Church Essentials)

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. … 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd… (Acts 2:1-4 & 14)


Put friendliness front-and-center (The GIFT system)

  • Greet
  • Introduce
  • Follow up
  • Thank


Closing General Session: Influence is the New Attendance

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV)

The pastoral prime mandate: to equip God’s people for works of service (Ephesians 4:11-12)


Do ministry from the church, not just in the church

Start with why, not what

Discover what your church does well, then do it on purpose

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

  • Previous generations had relationships and built structures
  • This generation has structures and needs to build relationships

New generations will give to missions differently, too


Nothing will affect our influence more than our integrity



NewSmallChurch.com • ChristianityToday.com/Karl-Vaters

Facebook.com/NewSmallChurch • @KarlVaters • CornerstoneFV.com