Posts Tagged ‘small church pastor’

…and proud of it!

Do you ever wonder where the folks are who are enthusiastic about small church ministry?  I find myself wondering how many of us there are and where they are.  Here’s a blog that’s a gathering place and a source of encouragement for small church enthusiasts.  It’s called New Small Church, and its creator is Karl Vaters, a longtime small church pastor in California.

Here’s some of what led Karl to launch this venture: “I’ve read all the pastoral ministry books and attended all the seminars, just like you. And I’ve found great help from many of them. But, after a while, I started getting frustrated with the books and seminars because all the “can’t miss” principles for growing my church … did miss.

“My church stayed small.

“But it was (and is) a good church. And I was (and hopefully still am) a good pastor. So I started asking myself some questions about Small Church ministry.

  • “Why didn’t anyone tell me it would be like this?”
  • “Why can’t I find help to understand how to do that?”
  • “Why does it feel like I’m on my own, learning by trial-and-error most of the time?”

He went on to write a book entitled The Grasshopper Myth.  The blog builds on the book and is a way to make it a conversation and not just a monologue.  I read the book and recommend it.  This author is deeply respectful of congregations of every size and of those who serve there.  What’s the “grasshopper” in the title all about?  Check out Numbers 13:32-33.  You can order the book on the site, or access it from amazon.com.

Click on the website name above to explore.  And here’s a post Karl wrote that was published recently on Qideas: Why Small Churches Are the Next Big Thing.

Many thanks, Karl!

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I grew up on a farm in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and in a small rural church. I’m proud to serve in another small rural church.  Recently I re-read an article by Baptist pastor Gary Farley entitled “Jesus Was a Country Preacher,” and though it’s been around a while, it’s still good food for thought for those of us who serve in country congregations.  Click on the title to read it.

I also recently listened to the audiobook edition of country singer Clay Walker’s new book Jesus Was A Country Boy, an extended reflection on the themes he explores in a song by the same title.  Walker meditates on many of the stories of Jesus and points out a correlation between the teachings of Jesus and the values Walker learned growing up in the country, such as generosity and simplicity.  Despite a minor theological quibble in a couple of places, I enjoyed Walker’s meditations and can see them as fodder for devotionals and sermons on the texts he looks at.  He also briefly mentions the ministry of rural congregations and urges people to get involved in their projects, such as food pantries to feed the hungry.  I’m thinking about writing to him to ask him to share some more thoughts about that.  I wonder if he goes to a country church when he’s home on his farm.

Here’s a youtube video of his song:

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