Advancing Leaders 1-Day: Thriving Church Essentials

What takes a church from merely surviving to thriving? Advancing Leaders 2019 was a day of practical training with pastor and author Karl Vaters as he discussed what it looks like to lead a dynamic, healthy church in your context.

All of the session notes, with clickable links can be found here. For a PDF of the session notes, click the button to the right of the session video.

Session #1: Redefining Success in Ministry

Session #2: Big or Small? What’s the Difference?

Session #3: How to Discover and Use What Your Church Does Well

Session #4: Preparing for Tomorrow’s Church by Equipping the Church Today

About the speaker

Karl Vaters is the author of two books about small churches.

On his blog Pivot, he writes about Innovative Leadership from a Small Church Perspective for several times a week. He’s also the founder of, a ministry that encourages, connects and equips innovative small church pastors.

Karl’s heart is to help pastors of small churches (up to 90 percent of us) find the resources to lead well, and to capitalize on the unique advantages that come with pastoring a small church – something virtually every pastor will spend at least some of their ministry years doing. He also believes that big and small churches can and should work together more often – to the benefit and blessing of everyone.

Karl has been in pastoral ministry for over 30 years. He is the teaching pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, a healthy small church in Orange County, California, where he has ministered for over 25 years with his wife, Shelley.

about advancing leaders

Every year in January, SoCAL hosts a catalytic event for leaders and their teams. These events are meant to equip leaders for the work of ministry as well as spark conversation and ideas.