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CNLP 099: What Smaller Church Pastors Really Need and Why – An Interview with 200 Churches’ Jeff Keady and Jonny Craig

Only a small percentage of churches ever grow past 200 attenders.

Enter Jeff Keady and Jonny Craig, whose podcast and blog,, is a resource to small church pastors everywhere. Jeff, Jonny and I discuss what small church pastors really need, and why.

Welcome to Episode 99 of the Podcast.


Guest Links: Jeff Keady and Jonny Craig

Dover Church

200 Churches

200Churches Podcast Episodes – Scroll to 126 for “Which Ministries Need the Wood Chipper ” with Dan Reiland.

The Change Series – A group of podcasts to help you lead real change in your 200church

Jeff Keady on Twitter

Jonny Craig on Twitter

Links Mentioned

Craig Groeschel; Episode 52

Karl Vaters; Episode 30

Dave Jacobs

John Finkelde

Purpose Driven Church: Every Church is Big in God’s Eyes

Comparison Trap

Billy Hybels

Rick Warren

Andy Stanley; Episode 1

The DISC Assessment

Myers Briggs

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Jonny and Jeff found that not all pastors are satisfied with the size of their churches, but there is fulfillment beyond “bigger is better.” Growth doesn’t equate to health, so Jonny and Jeff started speaking into what works for small churches how the health of the ministry can thrive.

  1. Find relationships that build into you. Pastors, no doubt, are beat down. They feel like because they’re small in size, they’re failing, but that isn’t necessarily true. Pastors, especially if they’re the only ones serving a small church, face loneliness and isolation because they’re in remote places and don’t have the people or resources to lean onto. Technology, primarily social media, allows you to reach out to others and find those relationships. (And if you need one bad enough Jonny and Jeff will talk to you!) You will find them, and you can find them.
  2. Leverage the gifts of others in your church. You can give off administrative tasks without giving away pastoral leadership. When pastors can’t share the load with others who are gifted, they’re limiting their potential. Be wise about what others in your church are capable of. If you’re doing every ministry on your team, you need to start cutting or stepping back. If people protest, it’s time to start having those hard conversations about getting stuff done.
  3. Do a self assessment. There are several assessments you can take online to determine your strengths and weaknesses. (See The DISC Assessment and Myers-Briggs in the links above.) Not only do they point out how to leverage your talents, but they allow you to dissect yourself in ways that are helpful to others. We step into situations unaware of how we’ll respond, but being self-aware can help you communicate and nurture relationships more effectively.

Select ‘See First’ for the Starbucks Facebook Giveaway!

To celebrate the 100th episode of the podcast, I’ll be giving away a virtual Starbucks gift card that will be posted on Facebook. To ensure that you don’t miss out on the offer, go to my Facebook page right here. If you already follow me, hover over the Follow icon and select SEE FIRST. If you’re new to my page, make sure you hit the Like button, hover over the Follow icon, and select SEE FIRST.

Here’s what it looks like on mobile and desktop.


 The Lasting Impact Team Edition


The team edition is a compilation of eight videos designed to allow the teams in your church follow along as a supplement to the book. I highlight key points from the material and discuss additional hot topics that relate to your ministry.

Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subjects like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer changes in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit! The video team edition, featuring 8 videos where I teach through the key concepts in the book, is available now as well!

Quotes from this Episode

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Next Episode: Peyton Jones

Peyton Jones is a self-described serial church planter with a heart for evangelism. From being beat up for the sake of the Gospel, to starting a church at a Stabucks, to coaching leaders on reaching the most unreached people in Western culture, Peyton shares his never boring story.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 100.

CNLP 099: What Smaller Church Pastors Really Need and Why – An Interview with 200 Churches’ Jeff Keady and Jonny Craig


  1. Sergio Rizo on August 3, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Refreshing insight and reminder to know one’s gifts and not compare. To hear “kingdom potential” used to honor the size of a church … mega-churches and small churches … the size of the church is not indicative of its kingdom value. Good reminders. Appreciate the conversation.

  2. John Finkelde on August 2, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Jeff and Jonny are champions! I love what they do to encourage pastors. And many thanks for the shout out, appreciate it.

  3. Paul Gillam on August 2, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    This was a great podcast. One of my favorites. I especially appreciated the idea that big does not necessarily mean that the church is healthy, etc. Emphasis must also be made on how the congregation is impacting its community. As well, I found the idea that the church may only be able to grow (number of members) up to a certain point for other reasons other than bad leadership, etc. I forget the term you used… kingdom capacity?

    Carey, you sometimes mention that you have led smaller churches. Have you ever discussed this in more detail on your podcast? I would love to hear more on what, looking back, you would (or should) do differently. Those kinds of things.

    I would also like to hear more about how a pastor of a smaller, established church (say 30 members or so) could transition to changing his/her pastoral tasks so that there can be more effective growth. For example, how can a pastor who is expected to provide pastoral care, or wants to do so, move to having other church members to provide this important task. Should he or she stop “cold turkey” or transition over time, as the church grows? Are there legitimate reasons to continue to provide some of the pastoral care and wean off that as other people are equipped to do it, work with a church board on expectations, etc.?

    Again, I love your podcasts… very thought provoking.

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