I am blessed to attend the morning sessions at SIT, the Summer Institute of Theology, on the campus of the Bible College and Seminary in Plymouth. I wanted to share my notes with you. For each day I attend (Monday through Thursday this week) I will share my notes from Karl Vaters’ sessions on small church ministry. They are tidbits, snippets, main bullet points, and perhaps a few of my thoughts. These notes may lead to some good discussion in our congregation. Enjoy! ~Pastor Brett
Monday: Redefining Success In Ministry
there are two types of small churches: 50 people give/take 50, 150 people give/take 50
Define success in ministry without having numbers attached to it.
What is 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.” based on Numbers 13:32-33, "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.”
Three undeniable realities of pastoral ministry:
Reality #1: 80-90% of churches will never be larger than 250 people
Reality #2: Virtually all pastors will pastor a small church for at least some time in our ministry
Reality #3: You can lead a small church well, without settling for less
Small is not a problem, virtue, or excuse.
Start figuring out what you’re called to do at the size you are at right now.
Don’t fall for the myth of inevitability: "If I do everything right, we will inevitably grow”
Over one billion people choose to worship God in small churches.
What does ‘quality’ look like in a small church?
Reasons people give for attending a small church:
1. The pastor knows my name
2. I can have an impact there
3. When I’m gone, they miss me.
Sometimes people don’t want to be further sub-divided into small groups. Small group ministry is more vital in larger churches because they can’t get what they get at a small group in their large group gatherings.