One year ago Jonny and I embarked on a blind date! We embarked on a blind date with this thing called a podcast. We'd never seen one up close and personal before. We had, honestly, no idea what we were getting into. Here's what we did know: we care about small church pastors and want to do what we can to encourage and support them!
We had no idea that we would meet a whole bunch of very cool people. We've met men and women who also love small churches and the people who pastor them. One of those people is Karl Vaters, the pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Fountain Valley, CA.
Karl shares his heart for ministry in a book titled The Grasshopper Myth - Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking that Divides Us. This is a fantastically legit 200-page book - that will help you reframe your thinking on church size and the impact you can have in the Kingdom of God!
In this podcast episode, #51, the three of us talk about the content of chapter one in this book, which is called "Hi, I'm Karl and I'm a small church pastor!" There are a lot of traps that small church pastors can fall into in their thinking about church size. We can feel insecure about the size of our churches because of the culture of BIG we live in. We can also easily feel like failures if our church has plateaued in size. Many pastors have left the ministry because of stagnant church size, much to the angst of the people they left behind... who actually loved their pastors!
In Episode 51 Karl talks about how to accept the fact that 1. You are a pastor, and 2. Your church is small. Those two truths mean that you are right now a "small church pastor". That is not a bad thing - it is a good thing! Small is not bad, and big is not good. The size of a church is just one of a myriad of variables that would go into the evaluation of a church. You can have a bad big church and a good small church, or vice-versa. We need to get over our idol of size.
Finally, Karl is the founder of www.NewSmallChurch.com, a blog that passionately argues on behalf of all healthy churches, regardless of their size! At the top of his home page, he has a banner that directs first time visitors to his site to another page - where he keeps his top 12 essential blog posts - he calls them his "read these first" posts. In 2014, we are going to do a podcast episode with Karl on each of these posts - so next month, on February 5, we'll talk about his post titled "Your Church IS Big Enough!"
We know that these first-week-of-the-month "Vaters Episodes" will be encouraging to you in your ministry. We want to be the wind in your sails and the oxygen of encouragement to your soul. Your shepherding and pastoral care to the people in your 200church matters HUGE in the KINGDOM OF GOD.
p.s. In this podcast episode, please forgive Jonny's use of "Carlos Danger"... what am I going to do with him??!
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