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.
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