Small Church Essentials: Field-Tested Principles for Leading a Healthy Church of under 250

$ 14.99

Karl Vaters

4 in stock


Part of 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.

Small Does Not Equal Broken

Small does NOT mean unhealthy, insular, poorly managed, or settling for less. Small churches are often healthy, dynamic, and equipped to minister to their communities in ways that larger churches just can’t. Both big and small churches play vital roles in the kingdom of God, but they each require a different set of tools. Yet most resources are produced by big church pastors and give advice that works well for big churches, even though most churches are small. And using big church tools for small church problems doesn’t work. Small Church Essentials is about getting the tools to make your small church great. Karl Vaters, a leading voice on small church ministry, shares:

  • Why many healthy churches do and should stay small
  • How to tackle chronic small church issues
  • How to serve with passion and measure success well
  • How to lead your church to fulfill the role only a small church can

Get tools and strategies designed specifically for you.

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

Karl Vaters has been a small church pastor for thirty years. He leads Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California. He is author of The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches, and the Small Thinking that Divides Us (2013). He writes about the value and needs of small churches for Christianity Today and is the founder of, a blog that encourages, connects, and equips innovative small church pastors. Karl and his wife, Shelley, have three kids (Veronica, Matt, and Phil) and one son-in-law (Sam).

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0802418066
  • ISBN-13: 9780802418067
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces


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