Session 1: Redefining Success In Ministry
Taught by Karl Vaters
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
- It’s a specialty, and it’s worth doing well
Ask for help
Session 2: Thinking Like A Great Small 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?
People will come to small churches, but they won’t give up quality to do so
- Quality looks different in a small church than a big church
Many big church principles don’t translate well to a small church context
Why is there such a big divide between big and small churches?
- When the biggest churches were 500 or fewer, the differences were minor
- Megachurches use and teach different principles due to their size
The law of large numbers: the bigger the crowd, the more predictably they behave
Big churches need to prioritize process, systems & programs
- Small church principles center on relationships, culture & history
Don’t do what our founders did, think like our founders thought
Session 3: A New Way To Look At Vision-Casting
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)
- Great Commandment
- Great Commission
- 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
Session 4: Becoming A Healthy Church, No Matter Your Size
Discover what your church does well, then do it on purpose
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
- Give the leaders time to ponder big decisions
- The Sweet Spot: God, the church and the pastor’s hearts meet
- The Default: God and the pastor, but not the church
- The Listening Place: God and the church, but not the pastor
- The Danger Zone: The Church and the pastor, but not God
Session 5: Finding & Mentoring Volunteers In Today’s (And Tomorrow’s) Small 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
- Previous generations had relationships and built structures
- This generation has structures and needs to build relationships
- Minister for the size you are, while setting up systems for double your size
- 10, 50, 100, 1,000
- Look for Level 10 leaders, first
- Value passion and willingness over experience and status