Small Church Essentials

This is Karl Vaters’ most recent book (released March 2018). In it, he offers practical insights into how small churches are different than big churches and what that means for pastoring them well.

Click here to buy individual copies on Amazon (print or Kindle).

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 seminar 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

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

For bulk pricing (100+ copies), contact Dave DeHaan at or 847-804-2950.

The Grasshopper Myth

According to Karl Vaters, “This is the book I wish someone else had written for me when I started out in ministry. I'd have also gone back to it for help during the times I've struggled in ministry.”

The Grasshopper Myth (which has sold over 15,000 copies since being released in January 2012) challenges some of the presuppositions many have held about church growth, church size and church success. It offers real-life examples of the struggles that are unique to small churches and their leaders, and it offers practical suggestions from many sources, including Vaters’ 30+ years of pastoral ministry.

The Grasshopper Myth is available in print and as a Kindle e-book. (Click here for bulk orders at a discounted price.)

It includes a 12-page Discussion Guide, making it perfect for book clubs, church staffs/boards, classrooms and more.

What's Up With the Title?

How does a book about small church ministry end up with a title like The Grasshopper Myth? Let’s let the book answer that question for you, with this excerpt from the opening pages:

The grasshopper myth (the idea, not the book) is the lie many small church leaders tell ourselves. We see big, bigger and megachurches popping up all over the place, then when we glance back at ourselves we seem like grasshoppers "in our own eyes".

That's where the myth starts. Inside us. And that's where it has to end.

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