Potomac Assemblies of God | Rural Church Initiative 2018

Taught by Karl Vaters


Friday evening Service

Being a Caleb In a Joshua World (Numbers 13:18 – 4:6)

  1. Do what’s right instead of what’s easy (Numbers 13:21-33)
  2. See the reality behind the reality (Numbers 14:1-6)
  3. Be a positive influence on the faith of others
  4. Stop caring about who gets the credit
  5. Value principles more than strategies


Session 1: Pastoring a Small Church Without Settling for Less


Three undeniable realities of pastoral ministry:

  • Reality #1: 80-90% of churches will never be larger than 250 people
  • Reality #2: Virtually all 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


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?


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


Why is there such a big divide between big and small churches?

  • When the biggest churches were 500 or so, the differences were minor
  • Megachurches use and teach very different principles due to their size


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


Pastoring a small church is not a penalty for doing something wrong

  • It’s a specialty, and it’s worth doing well



Session 2: Increasing Your Capacity For Effective Ministry


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 Gods people
  • Healthy, effective churches and pastors are doing all three


Minister for the size you are, while creating systems and outreach for double your size


Move out of a destination mindset and into a process orientation


Hearing God’s Heart Together

1. The Sweet Spot: God, the church and the pastor’s hearts meet

2. The Default: God and the pastor, but not the church

3. The Listening Place: God and the church, but not the pastor

4. The Danger Zone: The Church and the pastor, but not God



Use the Jethro system to raise up leaders

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


Find leaders by looking for servants

  • Value passion and willingness over experience and status



Session 3: Becoming a Healthier Church In the Next 100 Days


Based on the book, 100 Days To A Healthier Church, coming in 2019


The Church Health Scale


NewSmallChurch.com • ChristianityToday.com/Karl-Vaters

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

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