The Church Lobby

Karl Vaters interviews church leaders about the important issues of faith and ministry.

It's called The Church Lobby because:

  • The church lobby is where the church meets and does ministry.
  • The church lobby moves conversations from the stage to the floor.
  • The church lobby is a good place to take the temperature of a church’s health.

Karl Vaters is the author of several books, including Small Church Essentials and The Grasshopper Myth. Formerly known as Can This Work In a Small Church?, this podcast primarily looks at church leadership from a small church perspective.

Religion & Spirituality
Ep 071: De-Sizing the Church (pt 3): What Eugen...
A conversation with Eugene Peterson's biographer on why simple pastoral presence matters more than Christian celebrity.
38 min
Ep 070: De-Sizing the Church (pt 2): Why Christ...
De-sizing the Church has a chapter on the dangers of Christian celebrity. Katelyn Beaty wrote an entire book on it. This is an essential conversation.
40 min
Ep 069: De-Sizing the Church (pt 1): How Church...
Why are we obsessed with bigness in the church? This is the first episode of our De-sizing the Church series, addressing that question.
36 min
Ep 068: The Small Church Worship Advantage, wit...
Did you know there are tools specifically for crafting worship in small settings? To find them we need to turn to an old source—aesthetics.
49 min
Ep 067: Beyond Burnout: Growing a Healthy Soul,...
A tired pastor talks to an expert in ministry burnout out what the differences and danger signs are.
32 min
Ep 066: Brain Science, Christian Connection, an...
What does brain science have to do with ministry, or even Christianity? This enightening conversation makes those connections.
47 min
Ep 065: Helping Small Churches Thrive (A specia...
A special Sunday message describing the history and future of ministry for small churches and pastors.
45 min
Ep 064: The Value of Pastoral Longevity (Gary G...
Lessons and memories from 31 years of pastoral ministry at the same church, followed by a healthy transition.
18 min
Ep 063: Using A.I. Without Losing Your Soul: A ...
Are you not sure how to feel about A.I.? Does it seem mysterious and scary? This will help.
71 min
Ep 062: Maybe You Shouldn't Live-Stream Your Ch...
To stream, or not to stream? The answer to that question may not be as simple as you’ve been told.
52 min
Ep 061: Why Reading Matters for Ministry, with ...
If we want to become pastors with gravitas, one of the most proven and effective ways to do it is by committing ourselves to a program of wide, regular reading.
50 min
Ep 060: How Just Showing Up Can Change Everythi...
We’re not called to change the world, we’re called to simple acts of everyday faithfulness
43 min
Ep 059: How Churches Can Stop Burning Out Pasto...
Good stewardship of a pastor’s time and energy should not be measured by what they do, but by what they focus on.
54 min
Ep 058: The Power of Prayer In Church Revitaliz...
What if your congregation was praying New Testament prayers for church revitalization?
54 min
Ep 057: How to Turn Board Meetings Into God Mee...
Is it possible for a church to cancel board meetings entirely? Dave Beckwith thinks so.
39 min
Ep 056: You're Pastoring More People Than You T...
How many people are you really pastoring? That used to be a simple question. It isn’t anymore.
38 min
Ep 055: What I Learned By Taking A Sabbatical, ...
Should all pastors take a sabbatical? If so, what should you do on yours, and what should be avoided?
31 min
Ep 054: 10 Surprising Stats That Prove Church S...
A fascinating conversation based on a report from a 20-year-long study about church trends and church size.
61 min
Ep 053: The Secret Power of Kindness, with Greg...
Kindness may be the least-appreciated of the Fruit of the Spirit, but it's one of the most important for our witness to the world.
53 min
Ep 052: The Power of Forgiveness, with Dr. Bruc...
We all want to be forgiven, but we have a hard time forgiving. This conversation will help.
48 min
Ep 051: Unlock Your Bible, with Dianne Finkelde
A how-to study guide for everyday Christians
32 min
Ep 050: How To Plan A Sabbatical, with Karl Vaters
Pastors don't get work breaks unless we take them. And our brains and hearts don't get a rest unless it's a long break.
23 min
Ep 049: YouTube Strategy for Churches, with Sal...
A practical guide for your church to reach more people through YouTube
48 min
Ep 048: Post-Pandemic Trends In Small Church Mi...
The expected post-pandemic wave of pastoral resignations hasn’t happened, but pastoral exhaustion has. Why? And what do we do now?
39 min
Ep 047: Overcoming The Dangers of Elitist Chris...
For anyone who's ever found themselves looking down on other pastors – or anyone who's been looked down on.
42 min