Potomac Assemblies of God 2016

Karl Vaters

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



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


Bigger Fixes Nothing


Don’t fall for IKEA Envy


Over 1 billion people choose to worship Jesus in small churches


Small is not a problem, a virtue or an excuse


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


Your Church Is Big Enough



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


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


Big church principles center on process, systems & curriculum

Small church principles center on relationships, culture & history


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?


Challenges for the current and future church


When thinking small saved the world



Karl Vaters • CornerstoneFV.com 

NewSmallChurch.com • ChristianityToday.com/Karl-Vaters

Facebook.com/NewSmallChurch • @KarlVaters

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