Wee Kirk 2016

Taught by Karl Vaters

Session 1: Redefining Success In Ministry


What is The Grasshopper Myth?

http://newsmallchurch.com/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 neverbe larger than 250 people
  • Reality #2: 99.9% of pastors willpastor a small church for at least some time in our ministry
  • Reality #3: You can lead a small church well, without settling for less


We need to pastor well under the 200 barrier before trying to break through it


Don’t fall for IKEA Envy


Bigger fixes nothing


What does a healthy small church look like?


Many big church principles don’t translate well to a small church context

BC SC circles

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


Big church principles center on process, systems & curriculum


Big changes come from small places



Session 2: Casting Vision – A Small Church Alternative

Hearing God’s Heart Together


  1. The Sweet Spot: God, the Church & the Pastor’s Hearts Meet
  2. The Default: God & the Pastor, but not the Church
  3. The Listening Place: God & the Church, but not the Pastor
  4. The Danger Zone: The Church & the Pastor, but not God


The Acts 2 Model for Vision-Casting


How I Was Taught Vision-Casting



It’s OK for a pastor’s vision to be helping people fulfill their vision


Some churches need a John Adams’ inauguration moment

  • When the priesthood of believers moves from theory to reality by training disciples


Questions to Ponder:

  1. How could the Acts 2 model help my pastoral ministry?
  2. What can I do to reverse the flow of information from the congregation to the leadership?
  3. What can I do to start increasing the size of my church’s God/Church/Pastor Sweet Spot?


Session 3: Becoming a Great Small Church


What does a healthy small church look like?


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


Don’t put a mission statement into words until you’re already putting it into action


Take a regular, honest assessment of every ministry


Be willing to haul rocks in your Volkswagen

  • Use the building to serve people, not vice versa


Do ministry from the church, not just in the church


Ask for help


Session 4: Discipleship In the Small Church

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


Create a farm team by equipping the saints to do ministry


Put friendliness front-and-center

  • Greet
  • Introduce
  • Follow up
  • Thank


A simple 5-step discipleship process


Start with one


Use the Jethro system to raise up mentors

  • 10, 50, 100, 1,000
  • Look for Level 10 leaders, first


Find leaders by looking for servants


 Session 5: What Do I Do When I Get Home?


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


Questions to ponder:

  1. What does my church do well, that we could do more of?
  2. What does my church do poorly, that we should do less of?
  3. Does my church have more of a destination mindset, or a process orientation? Express as a percentage. (50/50, 40/60, etc.)
  • Is this a healthy balance? If not, what can I do to help bring it into a better balance?



Karl Vaters • CornerstoneFV.com 

NewSmallChurch.com • ChristianityToday.com/Karl-Vaters

Facebook.com/NewSmallChurch • @KarlVaters