Moody, 2018. 255pp.
Church and Ministry/Pastoral Help/Small Church
In Small Church Essentials Karl Vaters reminds the reader that Small does not equal Broken.
Small churches are often healthy, dynamic, and equipped to minister to their communities in ways that larger churches are not. While both large and small churches are beneficial to kingdom growth, each has a different tool set that makes them unique.
Dispelling the myth of church growth, that growth is always accompanied by numeric increase, Vater goes on to define church growth in broader terms related to church health.
How then does a small church create and nourish health? Become strategic, tackle the issues, do what you do well, prioritize ministry for growth, vision cast for health—not just numbers.
How do you move to being a great small church? Welcome the world while nurturing the seekers, plan for success, and set ministry outward.
Vaters ends the book reminding us that the small church is big enough!
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
My confession: I was literally born into a small rural church. My first ministry position was in that same small church. I left to take up other passions, serving in a seminary, ministering in a church of 500, and obtaining a library science degree. I then returned to the same small church to finish out ministry, retiring in 2015. I have a passion for the small church after exploring a big world. Now is the time for a great outpouring of affirmation, education and encouragement for pastors of small churches.
Vater points out what should be obvious. We love statistics and not so much people. His chapters are easy to read—and struck me as hitting the nail on the head. Health is not a matter of bigger. Nor is health a matter of settling for mediocrity. As the winds of change affect our society, small churches are vital to the survival of the church.
At the same time, Vater affirms the place of the large church. His message affirms that working together is of great benefit to the kingdom of God. Don’t try to be what you are not!
Pastors can digest this book in short bursts—each chapter makes a point of its own. Pastors can also digest this in one sitting—the book’s flow towards the greatness of the small church becomes a rushing stream of affirmation for the small church pastor!
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
This Lifeway Pastors review was written by Ron Baker.