Region 4 – Assemblies of God SoCal

What is The Grasshopper Myth?

TGM box sale 250cThe 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 pastors will never pastor a church 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 pastor a Small Church well, without settling for less

Big or Small: What’s the Difference?

BC SC circlesMany 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

Many small church principles are specific to each congregation

Big church principles center on process, systems & curriculum

Small Church principles center on relationships, culture & history

Focus on mentoring, not curriculum


Coming Challenges for the Small Church

The way we do church is changing

  • The way people give is changing
  • The way people commit is changing
  • The way people attend is changing
  • The way people trust is changing

Our children will build different churches than our parents did

  • Our parents had relationships and needed infrastructure
  • Our kids have infrastructures and need relationships

Don’t just do ministry in the church, do ministry from the church

Have too much building? Invite ministries into the church


6 Ways to Get Ready for the Future

  1. Pay the mortgage!
  2. Train your farm team (discipleship)
  3. Get ready to be bivocational
  4. Embrace technology
  5. Partner with other churches
  6. Don’t let experience stifle adaptability


Karl Vaters • • • @KarlVaters