the shape of leadership

How and Why to De-Size the Church

A conversation with Karl Vaters

George P Wood on April 18, 2024


Church size matters to us far more than it should. From the pride it brings when the numbers are up to the shame and frustration it causes when the numbers are static or down, none of this provides a healthy foundation on which to build a healthy church body,” writes Karl Vaters.

He goes on to suggest a solution: “We need to de-size the church.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I talk to Vaters about why bigness is a problem, why de-sizing the church is a solution, and how to do it.

I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Karl Vaters has served in small-church ministry for over 40 years, so he speaks and writes from decades of hands-on pastoral experience. An ordained Assemblies of God minister, he is author most recently of De-Sizing the Church: Why Church Growth Became a Science, Then an Obsession, and What’s Next, published this month by Moody Press.

This episode of the Influence podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Momentum Training Series.

Momentum Training Series will help you become more effective in your ministry, whether you are a new volunteer or a seasoned leader. The series covers topics such as including children with disabilities, teaching lessons that last, leaving a spiritual legacy, and cultivating a Spirit-empowered kids ministry.

For more information about Momentum Training Series, visit
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