On episode #78, we talk with Karl "the Shark" Vaters about the astonishing power of small churches! This coincides with his 7th of 12 "Essential" blog posts on his blog and website at NewSmallChurch.com. Karl Vaters is one of our monthly partners who talks with us about all things small church ministry.
In this episode we wonder what is the fastest growing religion in the world. Here is where you can get some current information on this!
We talk with Karl about the strategy that God is using by placing small churches, or 200churches, all over the globe in every country, proclaiming through word and deed the Gospel of Jesus. These small churches (including ours and yours!) are living out the Kingdom values of Jesus in their communities.
As we pastor these churches we can partner with each other for encouragement and relationship, and in this way work together for the advancing of the Kingdom of God! The fact that our churches are small is not a problem, but in fact an advantage as we are able to reach out to people who are, by nature of their very wiring, averse to large churches.
Many people just fit better within a small church context. They would never regularly attend a megachurch simply because God has wired them for small contexts. So, our churches are uniquely positioned to reach out to them.
Therefore, we should attempt to become the best, most healthy, most ready small churches we can be to welcome and love new people. The fact that people come to our church means that we are meeting their needs. Small churches has a special role and purpose that larger churches just cannot fill or meet. Let's be thankful to God and proud of how he has made us!
Karl's goal at NewSmallChurch.com is the same as ours, to encourage healthy small churches by encouraging and equipping small church pastors. Karl's gift is writing and blogging post after post on the topic of small churches. We say that he is a rabid small church defender and encourager. Our gift is to produce a podcast episode every week that speaks to the hearts and needs of pastors of small churches, and Karl joins us in the venture, while we try to point you to his site, where you will find more great training and resources. Remember, that's NewSmallChurch.com!
Next week, on episode #79, we talk with a first time guest on the 200churches Podcast - our friend and mentor, Doug Grogan! Doug works all day every day with small church pastors and their churches. He is going to bring the heat with a ton of wisdom and ministry encouragement for you! A new voice - and a fun friend!
On Monday of this week Brandon Cox from Pastors.com posted an article I had written for their site. It’s called – Pastoral Secrets Lead to Pastoral Sickness. As pastors, there are certain things that we just don’t want to admit to people.
Sometimes, the things we hide and fail to reveal about ourselves, are the very things that will connect us, even endear us, to our congregation. Our people need to know that we fail, suffer disappointments and setbacks, and even struggle with our faith at times.
The enemy of effectiveness in ministry is perceived pastoral perfection. We should never spread that myth! I had a pastor as a kid who always tried to do everything appropriately, as a good pastor would. He wife was the ever dutiful, appropriate, if not adequate, pastor’s wife. Heaven forbid that something should be amiss in their lives or “ministry”.
This myth of perfection and appropriateness was not helpful for us as a church family. We could never attain to this level of appropriability that they reached. (I just invented a new word! Everyone, use it as much as you can in the next month!)
Take a look at that post at Pastors.com. Pastoral secrets, regarding our weaknesses, faults, failures, or sins are never helpful or constructive, nor are they instructive, for the people in our churches.
Just be a person. Don’t be perfect, or perfectly appropriate. Perfect pastors are not normal. Be normal. Church people love normal.
Tomorrow we talk with Karl “The Shark” Vaters about The Astonishing Power of Small Churches: Over One Billion Served. That’s on episode #78 of the 200churches Podcast!
Today is the first time I have recorded without Jonny on the podcast... anywhere! This is a sad day, but Dave Jacobs and I rally to make it to the end of the episode. I sat on the overstuffed sofa in the 200churches Podcast studio and the picture below is what I saw. An empty chair. No Jonny. Very sad. Seriously, it was fairly terrible doing the podcast alone. Jonny was literally too sick to record. But, he will likely be back next week, and I can't wait.
Have you ever seriously considered using a pastoral coach? Maybe you should, if you:
Dave Jacobs specializes in coaching pastors of small churches at SmallChurchPastor.com. Perhaps you should check him out. He is extremely affordable and very successful in helping those he coaches in all of the above areas.
This post is coming out, very uncharacteristically, on a Tuesday. Family needs precluded us from posting on Monday. We try to NEVER miss a post or podcast on 200churches.com, because we want you as our readers and listeners to trust that you will consistently receive encouragement from 200churches. But we have missed a post just a few times in the past eighteen months. Because, well, you know – life happens, right?
We have never missed a Wednesday podcast, and tomorrow will be no exception – we’re excited to bring you a conversation we are having with Dave Jacobs, and also our analysis of his content, and some specific words of encouragement to you as a small church pastor.
We never miss a podcast because we absolutely LOVE providing each episode for you – and with all our hearts we want to BUILD YOU UP as a pastor to your people, your sheep. We know that the episodes we produce contain guests and content that not only equip you, but also entertain and encourage you. So, we never want to miss a Wednesday – we are too excited to share this gift with you.
By the way, when we finish an episode, produce it, and upload it to the pipeline, fresh and ready for delivery to you – we think of it as a special gift to you – our small church pastor friends – men and women all over the country and the world (well, at least twelve other countries!). We have labored over it, prayed over it, sometimes we’ve even argued over it – and it is our best work for that week to offer to you. We want to affirm you, cheerlead you, and inspire you for the work and service you give to your church family.
In fact, there are more guests and more topics than we have time to get to – we don’t think we’ll ever run out of people to talk with or topics to cover. We have 15-20 guests in the bullpen right now, and we are anxious to get to each one of them. A couple of them have been “on hold” for longer than we are comfortable with – and if you are one of them, thank you! Please be patient with us while we keep our day jobs!
So, here we are – small church pastors all! We’re living it with you, every single day. We ride the highs and lows of small church ministry. We remember to pray and forget to pray. We love our people and get frustrated with our people. We offend and seek forgiveness, and sometimes are offended and need to forgive.
We run out of time, patience, energy, and often wisdom. We see a ball get dropped, in a painfully predictable way, look at each other, laugh so we don’t cry, and just say, “classic.” No one is in the video booth to provide lyrics for the last song after the message. That important announcement doesn’t get in the bulletin, and then – we forget to make the verbal announcement too! A member is in the hospital… “they were?!” Oops.
Yup. Here we all are – small church pastors! We love it. We love God and people. We try, fail, try, succeed, and just keep trying. Don’t give up folks – be men and women who serve out of the fullness of Christ in you! Walk in the Spirit – live in the Love.
Be. A. Small. Church. Pastor.
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