Small Church Essentials
Field-Tested Principles for Leading a Healthy Congregation of Under 250
(Moody Publishers, 2018)
WHO: Karl Vaters, founder of NewSmallChurch.com and pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California.
HE SAYS: “Just because a church is small does not mean that it is broken, lazy, visionless, ingrown, poorly led, or theologically faulty. Many Christians choose to attend, serve and worship in small churches. They’re not wrong to do so.”
BIG IDEA: “Your church is big enough to minister the healing grace of Jesus to its members, and you have enough members to take that grace to your community in an overflow of joy, hope and healing.”
In Part 1, Vaters sets up the rest of the book by explaining that small does not equal broken, nor are small churches a problem, a virtue or an excuse. At some point, every pastor will lead a small church and should embrace it without settling.
Part 2 encourages readers to shift their thinking about church health and church growth, explaining that we need a new definition of both.
In Part 3, Vaters gets into the details, explaining how a small church, like every church, needs to discover what it does well, then do it on purpose. This includes starting, changing or stopping a ministry; casting a vision; and tackling issues.
The book wraps up with a discussion on how certain aspects of church life are different for a small church, including mentoring, discipling, planning and being welcoming.