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About Karl Vaters
I love helping small churches thrive by writing books, speaking at conferences and creating other resources at KarlVaters.com. Lately, this has included S.P.A.R.K. Online (Small-Church Pastors Adapt & Recover Kit), which is updated regularly with new resources to help small churches deal with issues related to the COVID-19 crisis and aftermath.
My heart is to help pastors of small churches (up to 90 percent of us) find the resources to lead well, and to capitalize on the unique advantages that come with pastoring a small church - something virtually every pastor will spend at least some of their ministry years doing. I also believe that big and small churches can and should work together more often, to the benefit and blessing of everyone.
I've been in pastoral ministry for over 40 years. Currently, I'm the teaching pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, a healthy small church in Orange County, California, where I've served since 1992 with my wife, Shelley.
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Do you lead a small church?
Big churches get all the love. Articles, books, conferences—they mostly feature leaders of large congregations. Yet big churches are a small part of the ecclesial landscape. In fact, more than 90 percent of churches have fewer than 200 people. That means small churches play a big part in what God is doing.
Small Church Essentials is for leaders of these smaller congregations. It encourages them to steward their role well, debunking myths about small churches while offering principles for leading a dynamic, healthy small church.
Based on the popular six-hour lecture that Karl Vaters delivers to church leaders across the country, Small Church Essentials will affirm small church leaders and show them how to identify what they do well, and how to do it even better. Readers will:
- Be assured that leading a small congregation does not make them ministry failures
- Come away inspired to lead with passion, regardless the size of their church
- Have field-tested principles for leading a church in their context
- Possess new metrics for biblically measuring vitality in small churches
- Have a toolkit of resources to use in their everyday ministry
Karl Vaters has been a small church pastor for 30 years, is the author of The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches, and the Small Thinking that Divides Us (2013), and travels extensively to churches and conferences to speak about leading a small church well.
If you are pastoring a small church, this book will be a breath of fresh air. It will affirm your calling while giving you fresh tools to help you lead. It will help you:
- Stop believing lies about small churches
- Lead your church to fulfill the role only small churches can
- Understand your congregation’s strengths and weaknesses
- Turn around a dying or unhealthy church
- Identify good trends and bad in church and culture
A 100-Day Plan That’s Practical, Realistic, and Actually Works
You see the problems in your church, and you truly believe it could be better. Not perfect, but healthier. If you want more for your church but aren’t quite sure how to get there, 100 Days to a Healthier Church was written for you. It teaches you how to:
- Identify your church’s current level of health using the "Church Health Continuum"
- Make big changes through small nudges rather than giant leaps
- Grow your strengths and tackle your weaknesses one at a time
After years of trial and error, pastor and author Karl Vaters developed a tested and proven 15-week process that’s manageable, adaptable, and effective. It won’t fix everything overnight, but it will help you figure out what to do next. Great for individual pastors, perfect for church leadership teams!
What’s Next for Your Church?
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, church leaders are facing challenges they’ve never encountered. As you scramble to adapt to this fast-changing situation, you must also begin thinking through the months ahead to consider: how will my church recover?
The Church Recovery Guide outlines the practical steps you can take to help your church not only survive but also thrive in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis. Pastor Karl Vaters offers insights from his extensive experience in church ministry to help you think through:
- Reconnecting with your congregation
- Dealing with the financial repercussions
- Encouraging and supporting your staff
- Clearly communicating a fresh vision for the future
- Reworking your church’s technology and online strategy
- Ministering to people feeling isolated and fearful
The Church Recovery Guide will provide the direction you need to help your church bounce back to full health and chart a path forward to even greater vitality.