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« Note to Self... | Main | A Church Plant's Success is Decided Long Before it's Started »


Ben, I wonder if we'll ever arrive at a moment where the prevailing dialogue amongst church leaders can become post-spacial (i.e., not based on the amount of square-footage a given church requires).

What indicators of health would we talk about that don't somehow end up reverting back to raw numbers?

I'm being serious, here. Give us a rough idea of what a post-spacial conversation between two pastors/leaders (one from a large church/org, the other from a small church/org) would ideally sound like.

true word. i see the "size matters" issue attack some of the church planters i coach. when they get together, that question hangs in the air, "so, how many are YOU running?"

HEALTHY and GROWING are the criteria worth pursuing, rather than BIG or SMALL

I totally appreciate your heart to encourage the pastor of a small work. I do think that it is a misnomer to liken the small church the underdog. I think short men would be offended at being called the underdog to tall, imposingly large men. Packaging is just that...packaging. The inside can pack a punch or be lame regardless of packaging. Just saying...

I love the underdog!


In case you're ever tempted to stop blogging...don't. I always appreciate the way you think. Keep it up!


matt, you talk like a consultant =)

beth, i think you're right that small church pastors detest the idea of being called a small church. but now that i'm not a pastor, i have the luxury of being able to create labels for my own convenience. =)

thanks steve - i have that temptation every month, but not this week

Just a thought...

The average church size in America is 75-80 people or so.

What if this average size has more to do with the sociological factors of belonging?

I am convinced that this is a more accurate telling of what's is taking place in the average church.

Ben, as a fellow former pastor (small church)I appreciate your creative luxury and I enjoy mine as well. I never detested the size of our work and it is sad that size should ever be an issue or point of comparison. What matters is the significance of our ministry to others. That was my only point. Man's measures are so very different from God's measures. Be blessed.

I don't think small or big is the issue. There's great small churches and great large churches. I'm part of a small church and try not to critique the large church based on size or critique it's authenticity bc of size - I think there's lots of inauthentic small churches. But I do feel the conversation has to move beyond size. I like the post, but I think using 'underdog' isn't the best metaphor - like it's the team that nobody thinks will win.

underdog is a very welcomed title for me because i think underdogs CAN win. that's why i used it.

and i suppose i'm talking about small churches who desire to reach more people... and their pastors who are hurting / aching to make an impact.

my heart's for them.

ease up

small us :-) churches that strive and strive and seek after God and reach out and work hard for Him, and yet still never grow into a congregation of hundreds, much less thousands.
but still we seek and still we strive. God just has different plans for different bodies of believers

Great post Ben. I pastor a smaller congregation that is going through a transition to a more mid-sized congregation. Our values have not changed. Our ethos (environment) has not changed. Our focus on connection has not changed. Our focus has been on church health, not church growth... and will remain there. If numerical growth continues to occur, so be it, but it's not the goal. Thanks for posting.

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