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Karl Vaters: Your Small Church Has What People Need the Most Right Now

karl vaters

Karl Vaters has been in pastoral ministry for over 30 years. He is the teaching pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, a healthy small church in Orange County, California. Karl has written several books, including his latest, “The Church Recovery Guide: How Your Congregation Can Adapt and Thrive after a Crisis.” At KarlVaters.com, he shares resources to help small church pastors lead well and capitalize on the unique advantages that come with pastoring a small church.

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Key Questions for  Karl Vaters:

-As you reflect on the past 12 months, what do you think is the general state of the small church in the U.S.?

-What do you mean when you say that every church must “figure out why your congregation should survive”?

-Are there any advantages to being independent from technology when recovering from a crisis? 

-How can ministry leaders effectively address financial challenges like lower giving or a tighter budget? 

Key Quotes from  Karl Vaters:

“In small churches, the way forward is a different mix of blessing and challenge than it is for the larger churches, as is typical.”

“Every single thing has a lifespan, aside from the Church itself, which will live on in heaven with Christ forever. I’m unaware of a single congregation from the first century that’s still alive today. Congregations do seem to have a lifespan, and when they’ve reached the end of their ‘why,’ often it is time to close the congregation.”

“In a congregation, we should always be asking, why do particular ministries and programs exist?” 

“It’s not a matter of, what are we doing that’s so different, so unique, and so special? No, simply, are we fulfilling the Great Commission, the Great Commandment? Are we ministering, and worshiping, and fellowshiping and offering a value to the people who come into the community that we serve?”

“It’s not about being special, unique, relevant, or cool. It’s about doing God’s purposes through the congregation.” 

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Jason serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at PastorServe, a ministry committed to strengthening the Church by serving pastors through personal coaching and church consulting. He also hosts FrontStage BackStage, a podcast and YouTube show, that helps pastors embrace healthy, well-balanced leadership as they develop a sustainable rhythm for life and ministry. Prior to joining the PastorServe team, Jason served as Vice President of Ministry Mobilization at Outreach, Inc., and as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement. Additionally, Jason served for nearly two decades in pastoral leadership, primarily as a lead pastor, in several contexts, including church plant re-launch, multisite church, multiethnic urban church, and an established suburban church. His experience as a lead pastor has provided numerous opportunities to coach and mentor pastors across the country. Jason and his beautiful wife, Monica, are the proud parents of six children and live on Anastasia Island, Florida. @jasondaye