Today's podcast is based on Karl Vater's blog post here from NewSmallChurch.com. We want to give Karl credit and encourage you to check out his website as there is a ton of encouragement there for you as a small church pastor/leader.
Me with my very good friends, twin bros Tim and Dave Mayo, on the front porch. It was their father, Dean Mayo, who had the vision to use this family property and home to encourage Christian workers and provide a place of renewal and fellowship for pastors. You'll need to listen to the podcast for these pictures to make sense!
It occurred to me (Jeff) that what was important in Karl's blog post, was the same thing that was crucial in making our pastor's retreat special and effective... relationships! Relationships are the glue that holds the church together. They are the active ingredient in any healthy and high quality local church. If people do not enjoy meaningful and significant relationships, then what size the church is doesn't matter at all.
Relationships are easy in the small church, there's not too many trappings to get in the way. No busy parking lots, crowded lobbies, or streams of people exiting the building after the service.
In a smaller church, people can get to know others and be known by others. They can be missed when they're gone. They can also get to know the pastor, and even speak to him or to her every week.
The very thing, smallness, that might bother you as a pastor, is the very thing that facilitates strong and healthy relationships, so go with it and use it to your advantage.
As a pastor/leader, build relationships on your staff or lay leadership team. Be intentional. In today's podcast, Jonny and I model for you, through our own interaction, what a good relationship looks like. It has taken us four years of intentionality and commitment, and a decision to really enjoy each other - for us to get to this level. We don't take each other too seriously, but we are very serious about serving God together.
We have had a number of direct, blunt, and heart to heart talks since we started working on the same staff almost two years ago. Our previous friendship was helpful to our initially working together, but that soon ran out and we had to choose to be intentionally authentic with each other. The relationships that our church leaders model will affect the relationships your people experience with each other.
We hope that you totally enjoy Episode 69! It was fun to create with each other and with Karl Vaters from NewSmallChurch.com. If you enjoy Karl on our podcast, you'll enjoy his book, The Grasshopper Myth, too! You can purchase it from the link to the right of this webpage, or by clicking on the picture below.
Hello Friends of 200churches! We went dark after last Wednesday’s post and podcast when I (Jeff) left for a pastor’s retreat in Pennsylvania and Jonny took over the church for the week!
Yes, he did try to take it over. It was like the August coup back in 1991 when they tried to topple Russian President Gorbachev while he vacationed in the Crimea. Boris Yeltsin stood atop the tanks in the streets of Moscow and opposed the group attempting the coup, and helped Gorby retain his power.
Jonny couldn’t help it, he’s in thesis mode finishing his degree requirements, and is getting quite aggressive! When my flight was cancelled on Saturday night, I called him to tell him he was on for Sunday morning. He tried to consolidate his power by preaching the best message of his life yesterday morning, while I was stuck on a plane to Chicago.
It didn’t work. I undercut him in a 6:00am elder meeting this morning to reconstitute my authority over the ministry! I’ll never leave again while Jonny is here on staff. He’s too hungry! If I had been gone for one more day, the locks on my office would have been changed and the 200churches website passwords reset!
All in good fun, right? Of course. I did leave, and Jonny did assume responsibility, and my flight was cancelled, and Jonny was the hero. But in all the hoopla, we did not write a blog post for Friday or this (Monday) morning. So this is it. Such as it is.
This week on the podcast, episode 69, we’re talking about the active ingredient necessary for a 200church to be viable to millennials. Generation Y is interested in God, just not in “Boomer” church. They don’t appreciate prepackaged sales pitches, or slick, well rehearsed services. They are real people, looking for real relationships and authentic connections with the God of the universe.
On Wednesday, listen for a great episode where we outline with Karl Vaters the one condition that makes small churches the next big thing in our society. This generation doesn't mind small churches, but there is a condition that must be met. What is that condition? Listen in and find out on Wednesday.
Also, we’ll share our ministry experiences from the last week. Classic small church pastor stuff! Plus, I will talk about some of the characters I kept company with on my very small, very exclusive pastor's retreat. It was by invitation only. I caused some trouble and likely won't be invited back! I'll explain why this Wednesday.
Have a great week loving and leading your people!
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