Five Big Problems for Small Churches, featuring Karl Vaters

Episode #338
June 20, 2017
Rainer on Leadership Podcast Logo

Podcast Episode #338

Karl Vaters joins us to discuss issues found most often in small churches. However, these issues manifest themselves in any size church in any setting.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • Small churches are not a problem, virtue, or excuse.
  • Just because your church is small does not mean you can’t do good ministry.
  • There’s not a single command to the New Testament church that can’t be accomplished by a small church.
  • The sooner you can assess a Sunday service or church event the better.
  • Churches should purposefully and intentionally equip members for ministry.
  • It is a pastor’s job (according to the New Testament) to equip others to do the work of ministry.

The five items we discuss are:

  1. Holding on to Stale Traditions.
  2. Poor or Nonexistent Planning.
  3. Not Enough Assessment or Evaluation.
  4. Too Much Inward Focus.
  5. Depending on the Pastor Instead of Making Disciples.

About Karl Vaters

Karl Vaters has been a small church pastor for more than 30 years—the most recent 25+ years in his current church, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California. His popular blog, Pivot, is hosted at and focuses specifically on issues related to leading in the small church.

Episode Sponsors

Vanderbloemen Search GroupVanderbloemen Search Group is the premier pastor search firm dedicated to helping churches and ministries build great teams. Their Fall Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor Coaching Networks are now open for registration, and our very own Dr. Rainer will be speaking at the Fall Lead Pastor Coaching Network.

So if you’re a Lead Pastor or an Executive Pastor looking for peer roundtable coaching, check it out at It’s limited to 16 folks, so apply today before it fills up.

mbts_banner1_rainerMidwestern Seminary, one of the fastest growing seminaries in North America, exists to train leaders For The Church. The local church is God’s “Plan A” for the proclamation of the gospel, and there is no Plan B. And this is Midwestern’s vision and heartbeat—equipping pastors and other ministry leaders who are called to expand God’s mission in the world through the local church. At Midwestern Seminary: they train leaders ‘For The Church.’

Visit them online at and start your ministry training today.


If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here on Church Answers.

Resources Mentioned in Today’s Podcast