Read These First – The Essentials

There’s a lot going on in Small Churches, and in the ministry of New Small Church. So, if you’re wondering where to start, this preview of essential posts will give you a good idea of what we’re about. And what we’re not about.

Scan the titles and excerpts, then click to read more. They’re listed by the order they were written, but each one stands on its own, so you can read them in any order you’d like.


 

sneak peek 200I Am a Small Church Pastor, and I Am Not a Failure

This is a big, bonus look inside the pages of The Grasshopper Myth. It’s a sneak peek at the first half of the first chapter (about 7 pages worth). If you’re wondering whether-or-not to buy, read or recommend The Grasshopper Myth to someone, this should help you decide.   >> Read More  (Listen to the PODCAST)

 

 

Ruler

Your Church IS Big Enough

So you’re a Small Church pastor. Me too. Have you ever felt like that’s not enough? Me too. Today I have good news for both of us. Your church is big enough. Right now. Today. At its current size. Your church is big enough to do what Jesus has called you to do, and to be who he has called you to be.  >> Read More  (Listen to the PODCAST)

 

New Small Church Thumbs-Up sign8 Simple Words that Can Transform Your Church

Encouraging, Connecting & Equipping Innovative Small Church Leaders. Eight words. Eight simple words that can transform your church, your ministry and your life. How do I know that? Because the principles behind those eight words helped transform my life and my church from being defeated, wounded and sad to being strong, healthy and joyous.   >> Read More   (Listen to the PODCAST)

 

Stop sign 200cHi, I’m Karl and I’m NOT a Megachurch Basher

Let’s not fall into the trap of bashing someone else to try and feel better about ourselves. It’s not right. And it doesn’t even work. Bashing others is not a way to find common ground. And if it was, the ground wouldn’t be very stable. Loving Small Churches doesn’t mean hating megachurches. We should be cooperating, not competing. There’s room – and a need – for everyone.  >> Read More

 

What's next?Small Churches Are the Next Big Thing – With One Condition

There’s growing evidence that this new generation will bring the greatest opportunity for Small Church ministry in 2,000 years. But this opportunity comes with one, big condition. They won’t give up quality to gain intimacy. And they shouldn’t have to.  >> Read More

 

 

ExclamationThe Surprising Reason 80% of Churches Will Never Break the 200 Barrier

Here’s why my church will never break through the 200 barrier. It’s the one thing none of us wants to admit. But someone needs to say it out loud. I stink at it. I’m not gifted, skilled or fulfilled at managing systems as my primary method of doing ministry. Why haven’t I adapted those methods to help my church break the 200 barrier? Believe me, I tried. … And I nearly killed my spirit and my church in the process.  >> Read More

 

power buttonThe Astonishing Power of Small Churches: Over One Billion Served

Over half the Christians on earth are involved in churches with less than 200 people in them. Which means more than one billion people choose to worship God in Small Churches. Small Churches are not small because of human weakness, lack of planning or short-term vision. Small Churches are not a problem. Small Churches are an essential element in a divine strategy.  >> Read More

 

 

greatness 200cIt’s Time for Small Churches to Become Great Churches

No more excuses. It’s time for Small Churches to become great churches. If that sounds intimidating, it doesn’t need to. Your Small Church has everything it needs to achieve greatness right now. You don’t need to wait for permission, or even inspiration. We already have the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Here are five principles any Small Church can use to achieve greatness.  >> Read More

 

closed sign 200cGrow It or Close It? Is There a Third Option for Struggling Small Churches?

Grow or close. So many Small Church pastors feel the pressure to do one or the other. But there’s a third option. It’s been sitting in front of us all along, but a lot of us have been so obsessed with “grow it or close it” we’ve overlooked this alternative. Option 3: Help Struggling Small Churches Become Healthy Small Churches .  >> Read More

 

 

Jesus LivesSmall Churches Are Not a Problem, a Virtue or an Excuse

I refuse to idealize Small Churches. There’s not an ounce of nostalgia in me for some long-lost, non-existent, good-old-days when everyone attended a little white chapel and all was right with the world. In fact, one of the unwritten rules we follow regarding the photos for NewSmallChurch.com is No Little White Chapels Allowed. (I guess it’s not unwritten any more.)  >> Read More

 

 

Grasshopper Brick WallForget the 200 Barrier – Small Churches Need to Break Through the Grasshopper Barrier

We need to retire the 200 Barrier from our church leadership lexicon. It makes some dangerous assumptions, starting with the assumption that over 200 is better than under 200. But the Grasshopper Barrier is a toxic mindset that keeps churches and pastors from recognizing The Grasshopper Myth for the lie that it is.  >> Read More

 

Globe Beach Ball

Are You Serious about Worldwide Church Growth? Support Small Churches

Big and megachurches are great. They deserve our prayers and support, not second-guessing, jealousy and ridicule. But, as valuable as they are, large congregations are not where most people receive the bulk of their spiritual nourishment. Most of that is happening in millions of small congregations all over the world.  >> Read More

 

Crowd Sauce

Growing a Bigger Congregation Is Hard, Rare and [Gasp!] NOT a Biblical Mandate

For four decades, we’ve been told that if your church is not growing numerically, you’re failing. But that denies so much evidence. Evidence that very clearly indicates that growing a big congregation is not inevitable. It’s not common. And it’s not required by God to be a faithful pastor.   >> Read More

 

 

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32 thoughts on “Read These First – The Essentials”

  1. I can resonate with a lot of what you say. Small churches are undervalued and undersupported by national denominations. I would like to see some more thought put into the economic realities of small church life e.g. how full-time pastorates are unaffordable for many small churches and what the impacts of that reality is upon their institutional and spiritual health.

      1. Rachel Stubbs

        Have you yet? I have been perusing your site and haven’t found any articles on that yet. This is a major concern for my husband, who pastors a small church. Thx!

  2. Jared Vaillancourt

    I’ve been a pastor of a congregation of 25-30 for almost 3 years. We meet outside of the church for extra-fellowship on a monthly basis. We are a family. We encourage each other, pray for each other, care about each other…it is one of the greatest blessing God has ever given me in ministry. What saddens me is the denominations that will not financially support their small churches, while pouring money into any new initiative by their larger churches, even allowing their smaller churches to close, liquidating the small churches assets in order to fund a new church plant.

  3. Jared Vaillancourt

    I’ve been a pastor of a congregation of 25-30 for almost 3 years. We meet outside of the church for extra-fellowship on a monthly basis. We are a family. We encourage each other, pray for each other, care about each other…it is one of the greatest blessing God has ever given me in ministry. What saddens me is the denominations that will not financially support their small churches, while pouring money into any new initiative by their larger churches, even allowing their smaller churches to close, liquidating the small churches assets in order to fund a new church plant.

  4. I’m new, to your posts, but was so encouraged by your book “The Grasshopper Myth”, I wanted to continue to listen and learn. Thank you for pouring your heart on to paper and giving us an opportunity to be part of the “larger” small-church ministries around the globe.

  5. I’m new, to your posts, but was so encouraged by your book “The Grasshopper Myth”, I wanted to continue to listen and learn. Thank you for pouring your heart on to paper and giving us an opportunity to be part of the “larger” small-church ministries around the globe.

  6. Just quickly looking through the website reading some blogs etc was very encouraging. Thank you – but I do have a question. We are small church of about 100 in the UK in a town of about 80,000 how can I ever find contentment and peace pastoring a small church when their so many people in my town that have not been reached. Should we not all be striving to see people saved and the churches grow to larger churches? ps we planted the church 15 years ago.

  7. Just quickly looking through the website reading some blogs etc was very encouraging. Thank you – but I do have a question. We are small church of about 100 in the UK in a town of about 80,000 how can I ever find contentment and peace pastoring a small church when their so many people in my town that have not been reached. Should we not all be striving to see people saved and the churches grow to larger churches? ps we planted the church 15 years ago.

    1. That’s a great question, Glenn. We should absolutely never settle for less when there are people around us who need Jesus. The point for me is not that churches should be small or big, but that all churches, whether small or large, should be healthy and outward-reaching. Sometimes that will result in an individual church getting bigger, sometimes that will mean more small churches being planted. In fact, if you look at history, or even around the world today, the greatest revivals tended not to result in bigger individual congregations, but in an explosion of small churches.

      Some churches are collectors. People get saved and stay. Some church are senders. People get saved and leave to do ministry elsewhere. Either way, the kingdom of God grows and that’s what matters.

      So, to your original question about contentment and peace… The bible tells us that Godliness with contentment is great gain. But contentment doesn’t mean settling for less, it means being grateful for where God has placed you and what he’s called you to do. Stay faithful and let Jesus take care of the results. He told us to make disciples. He said he would grow his church.

      1. Great reply Karl 🙂 I have to say downloaded your book and have been reading for the last couple of days and you so totally hitting the mark! I have a few Pastor friends in the UK I will be sending copies too. So many pastors feel written off by other leaders because their church is not regarded as successful or large. Yet in the Lords eyes they are being faithful with what has given them.

        1. That’s great to hear, Glenn! If you’re planning to order print books, the only way to do that outside the U.S. and Canada is to email me at KarlVaters@Yahoo.com and we’ll work something out. Shipping to the UK from the U.S. is very expensive to do on a per book basis, so if you get to the place where you know how many you want, email me and I’ll work with you to send them all in one shipment to save everyone some cash.

          1. I have read some of your post.it is encouraging and impactful .,God bless you.I am about to start a new church .what is your advice to avoid staying small at least for a long time.

          2. If I knew how not to stay small, my church would be big. 🙂

            So my advice is to do small church awesome, and if the Lord wants it to get bigger, he’ll take care of that.

  8. I am new to your site but tonight I was really blessed and encouraged by all the reads. We are a small church and the Lord God by His Holy Spirit is using us to touch lives and do great things. Thank you and keep writing .

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