Karl Vaters on How to Tell if a Church is Too Big or Too Small

Image: @noguidebook | Unsplash

Can a church be too big?

Yes.

Can a church be too small?

Also, yes.

Does that mean there’s an ideal size for a church?

No.

No Ideal Size

While there may be an ideal size for a specific type of ministry, a certain location, or a particular leadership style, there’s no overall “best” size for a church.

Some churches get too big when they drift from their mission in a chase after numbers. Some churches stay too small when they spend more time reacting to problems than doing ministry.

These are just two of the dangers of using attendance numbers as the main (or only) gauge of a “successful” church.

It causes big churches to justify what they do because they have the numbers to back it up, while it causes small churches to devalue valid ministry because the numerical increase isn’t there.

Too Big, Too Small

So how can we tell if a church is too big? Or too small?

Here are a few indicators:

A church is too big if the bulk of their finances is put into bigger facilities, more staff and a greater spectacle.
A church is too small if the bulk of their finances is spent in a desperate attempt to hang on to what they’ve got.

A church is too big if an emphasis on mission has been replaced by an emphasis on numerical increase.
A church is too small if an emphasis on mission has been replaced by an emphasis on maintenance.

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Source: Christianity Today