The Small Church Pastors’ One Day Workshop Is Coming!

Workshop card front

UPDATE: We did it! A bunch of Small Church pastors got together, heard from great speakers, worshiped, then left inspired and better prepared to fulfill our calling. All by ourselves, without grown-up supervision.

Thank you to all the speakers, to everyone who helped put it together, to those who attended in person and to everyone who watched the live-stream.

Individual videos of each of the talks are available here.

It’s been the subject of many conversations, lots of speculation and a bunch of requests. (Cue the dramatic music)

For months people have heard rumors of it. But until now, no one knew for sure if such a thing was even possible. (Cue even more dramatic music!)

But. It. Is. Real!

Yeah, we’re gonna give it a shot. Here comes the Pastors’ Conference for the rest of us. On Saturday, November 9 2013, New Small Church will be holding our first ever Small Church Pastors’ One Day Workshop from 9am – 2pm (PST) at New Life Christian Fellowship in Laguna Niguel, California

If you live in or near Orange County, California, we’d love to see you at it. If you don’t live in Southern California, we got your back. Technology is our friend. The sessions will be livestreamed right here at so you can get all the info as it happens. (Just click the box on the right side of this page).

The day will be packed with practical information from a line-up of speakers who have a passion for and experience in Small Churches.


 The Line-Up

Hi, I'm Karl and I'm a Small Church PastorKarl Vaters – Keynote

I’ll be opening and closing the event. Along with re-establishing the fundamentals for those who are first-timers, there will be some brand-new material that I’ve picked up from this last year of working with Small Churches and Small Church leaders around the world. There will be plenty for everyone to chew on and take home.


BKilpatrick 200Bob & Joel Kilpatrick – Worship & Social Media

Bob has spent a lifetime travelling the world performing concerts and leading in worship in churches of all sizes. But a couple years ago the Lord laid it on his heart to spend his time encouraging and promoting healthy Small Churches. He’ll be leading us in worship and sharing from his heart about Small Church ministry.


KilpatrickJBob’s son, Joel Kilpatrick, is the owner of, the world’s leading satirical Christian news site. His lighthearted, good-spirited articles have won him lots of notoriety and a few awards, too. He’ll be sharing about using the internet and social media from a Small Church perspective.



woodenFrank Wooden – Planting & Pastoral Networking

Frank has pastored Hope Church in San Diego for 21 years. And now this Small Church is planting other Small Churches in neighborhoods all over San Diego. Networking is the key. Frank will share with us how a growing group of pastors and churches have overcome their differences and frustrations to support each other and do far more than they ever did alone. These are practical, hands-on ideas that can work anywhere – in any size church.


Gary 200Gary Garcia – Staff, Volunteers & Internship

Gary has been my (Karl’s) youth pastor for 21 years. In that time, the Lord has helped us work together in some extraordinary ways. Gary and I will be sharing together how to keep a great staff relationship alive, how to recruit, train and encourage volunteers, and how to establish and run an internship program – all in a Small Church building and on a Small Church budget.


Small Church Pastor Panel Q & A

A chance for questions, comments and conversation with a group of Small Church pastors from a variety of backgrounds including church planters, church turnarounds, established churches, suburban churches, rural churches and more.


Jeff Hamilton, the pastor of New Life Christian Fellowship, will be our host.


The Details

Here are a few more details you need to know.

  • It’s Free! Yep. No cost. We will take an offering, but we’re hoping to get enough sponsors in advance to cover all the costs for everyone.
  • Lunch will be served. We’ll ask for a small fee (around $5) to cover that.
  • Spread the word. Click the images below to download the front and back of the promo card to post on your Facebook page, your Twitter feed or wherever. If you live near Orange County, printed flyers will be available in October.
  • Like the NewSmallChurch Facebook page or follow @KarlVaters on Twitter to be made aware of updates.

Pray for us as this gets closer. We’ve never done anything like it before. There’s no instruction manual. We’re figuring it out as we go along.

Our plan is to do the best conference we can, then learn from it to take this idea to other places as well.

Let’s get together. It’s time to stop doing this alone.


The Promo Card

Click to download larger versions to print or share.


Workshop card front


Workshop card back


So what do you think? Are you going to be able to make it? Or can you watch online?

We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
Enter your comment right below this post and get in on the conversation.

(Promo Card designed by Adam Gil)

34 thoughts on “The Small Church Pastors’ One Day Workshop Is Coming!”

  1. It’s on my calendar to watch. I am telling my small pastor friends. I have the capability to put it on the big screen in my church, would I have permission to invite my community pastors to join in?

  2. This looks really encouraging even to a guy on the otherside of the country (Florida) and I’m excited you’ve chosen to livestream. Thank you!!

  3. Just found this website a week ago and subscribed. Would love to listen in online from VA. Does this count as letting you know or is that accomplished another way?

    1. Hi Martha. We’ve never done one before, so this one is a bit of an experiment to see if workshops like this work and are needed. If so, we’ll do more. In the meantime, our hope is to record the entire workshop, then edit it into individual sessions that will be offered here to watch for free whenever you want.

  4. Hi Karl,
    I am a pastor from Ontario, Canada….I am currently in Basel, Switzerland caring for my brother who’s battling cancer. My small churches at home is stepping up, offered me paid leave for two months, and I hope, will use this time to take on more leadership as one church transitions from being a yoked church to a single church. I would love to “attend” the workshop on line….how do I sign up? I have been in ministry for over 25 years…and still am learning, growing, changing! Always eager to learn more!

    1. Hi Christine. I’m so sorry to hear about your brother, but it’s wonderful that your home church is able to help you be there with him. Most Small Churches can’t afford that.

      We’re still working out all the technical details, never having done this before, but once it’s set up, you should be able to come right here to to follow the workshop live. To be sure you don’t miss anything, including any last-minute instructions, “Like” the New Small Church Facebook page at

  5. Donalee Phillips

    I live in Montana so will try to watch on the internet. Praying the technology works well and many of us pastors can watch via the internet/TV. I appreciate this opportunity. I have been in the ministry over 50 years. I agree with Christine…we need to be always ready to learn more!


    1. Hi Donalee. I hope the technology works from our end, too. It’s the first time we’ve done it, so it’s all experimental right now. It’s great that we can help each other this way.

  6. I am excited about this and the other info I am reading here…a breath of fresh air and definitely needed encouragement. I do hope that you can record this as I am supposed to take teens to a quiz meet this weekend. Hope to find a quiet room to watch as much as possible.
    blessings on your work.

    1. Pacific Time is right. I thought I had put that on everything, but I missed it on this. I’ll add that into the post so others don’t get confused. Thanks or asking. I’m glad technology is allowing you to be part of it.

  7. I would love to hear this! Is there a way to record it? I will be traveling to two different hospitals tomorrow. Please include one little baby girl in prayer. She is part of the reason we can’t be where we can listen. She is two months old and in Texas Children hospital. We will be there to pray for her and seek to encourage her family. Next hospital is to carry home someone after surgery. God is good. We pastor one of the small churches.

    1. Hi Darrell. Yep, we’ll be recording it, then editing it into individual talks, which will be available here as soon as they’re ready. Keep checking back!

      I’m sorry you can’t watch live, but I’m grateful for you and Small Church pastors like you who do the important work you’ll be doing tomorrow.

  8. Karl (and Team)…thanks so much for offering your time, insight and experience today. I enjoyed the conference and gained several pearls that will, I believe, help us proceed in our church plant. I’m not sure our church even rises to the description level of “small” but am thankful for the opportunity to have streamed a conference devoted to the issues and concerns of the small church pastor. Many blessings!

    1. Right now I’m speaking at conferences put on by denominations and independent church groups. I’ll have a calendar up soon for people to make them if they can.

      I’m also meeting with some folks about expanding this conference into a multi-day event. Our plans are taking into account some of the bigger challenges for Small Church pastors, including food and housing costs, plus other monetary challenges. It’s looking like it will happen next summer.

      I wish I could say more now, but I should be able to make a formal announcement in September. It’s gonna be very, very special!

  9. I just found your website and have spent the last 2 hours devouring the info. You are right on. I am ministering a Navajo Mission work and am moving to the next level. I am looking for help is starting a leadership team. I don’t know if I can attend the conference in Nov. I am in NM and do not have internet connection at our church. Are the sessions available with out internet? Ray

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