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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Feb 17, 2007.
How big is too big? That is the question.
I voted for "other".
I think a church is too big when the majority of the faithful membership are all capable of various leaderships, involved/overlapping in some of the same leaderships, and are getting in each other's way, so to speak.
It's time for that church to send some of it's members to plant another church in an area that needs one. And it's time for the remaining members to actively seek out those who need a church home and discipleship.
That can happen with a church of 100.
Well, we know the church in Acts grew to the thousands relatively quickly without branching off.
I'd say a church is too big when God informs the elders it's too big. Every situation is different, so there is no number.
It depends upon the area it is located in.
100 in a rural area might be 'too big'.
3,000 in an urban area might be 'just right'.
By my experiance many large churches (over 500 or so) have a large number of folks who go there just to say that they go there. If you know what I mean.
I thought of the church in Jerusalem also, got to wondering what the population of the city was back then. Anybody have any idea?
I have been a member of two churches since I was saved about 12 years ago. One was a large Baptist church (1,500+ and growing fast) the other is a nice church (less than 500). I don't like large churches because it is too easy to get lost in the crowd. My current church is just the right size. I like to know everyone's name and I like them to know me. I like walking down the hall and being able to call people by their actual name and them being able to call me by my name (and without name tags!). I like the fact that my pastor knows where I work, that he knows who I am (etc). I like the fact that, in my church, when someone gets sick/injured the church leaps into action. If an elderly person needs someone to sit with them the number of people who sign up is often more than needed. People care about each other and nobody is just a face in the crowd. I love my current church to say the least. I was in love the first time I entered it (back in '02). I was welcomed as soon as I walked through the door. I was not made to feel like an outsider nor was I smothered with unwanted attention. I am not alone in this. Many people who join our church mention what I have mentioned here. Most talk about how they felt welcomed from the start. When/if I ever have to leave I will search for another church it's size and with it's heart (for the Lord and for people).
A church is too big when it takes you 25 minutes to park the car, another 10 minutes to get to the front door, and another 10 minutes to be seated.
It is also too big when the church has to install moving sidewalks to go to the front.
Or when you stand in line over 15 minutes to get a cup of Latte at the Starbucks lounge conveniently located in the west wing.
I think Joel Osteen's church may be a little too big for me. If I need binoculars to see that pastor, that's too big for me.
I put 500, simply because I like to know the people there personally and after five hundred that gets a little hard!
I voted for other.
I think a church is too big when people start to get lost through the cracks so to speak. When the church leadership can no longer handle the needs of the individual members effectively then I think it is time for a change of some sort.
That said one church may be too big at 500 while another could easily run in the thousands. It would all depend on the variables involved: church leadership, area, local population, membership needs, etc...
A church is too big when it no longer functions like a family. Everyone should not only recognize each other and know everyone else's name, but also be able to keep up with what is going on in each other's lives. They are the people you ought to be able to trust the most, and turn to in need. :1_grouphug:
Right now I am going to my church directory to see who can drive me home from dental surgery in a couple of weeks! My church has 50 members, and I would say that is about as many as is ideal. Maybe up to 100, but not more.
I am with amity on this.
I think we see large churches as 100-200 members, while most here would see that as very small.
My church has 29 members. I would love to see 50-100 solid Christian people in the church every Sunday, but it doesn't work that way. The Lord will provide for our needs as a church.
I think once a church hits 100-150 members (those who attend regularly, mind you) it is a good time for that church to branch out.
Of course, that's not a one size fits all, but having numerous locations, especially around a big city like this, is more convenient for older folks and folks who might be new to the church and don't want to drive for 45 minutes or more to reach the church.
I can tell you, if we combined all of the PB churches in the Houston area, we might have a combined membership of 300, which most here would say is a nice, small congregation. That said, how many of the little old ladies and gentlemen would we lose who could not drive to a central location because they live nearer their old church, which was over an hour away from the new one?
Most PB churches do not have the problem of growing too big though. Our doctrine and practice is not popular with most people.
I'd much rather have the 29 members who believe and contend for the faith than 500, half of whom do not agree with the most basic of doctrines.
Besides, as the church clerk, I have to maintain records of addresses, names, and phone numbers for all members. It's much easier doing that for 29 than it would be for 500. Call me selfish.:laugh:
Most Baptist doctrine is not popular with most people
Us Four and No More.
And some people wonder why some churches never reach out and grow...
I think being in small groups is key in a larger church. While you may not know everyone in a large church, you will have a group of people who you know much more intimately and will be encouraged and upheld in prayer by that smaller group. We have numerous small groups and they've been such a blessing to those in the group. When the group gets too large to comfortably meet in homes, it's time to multiply and make 2 groups - just like a cell divides and becomes 2 new cells - it's the same with this.
I honestly think that there is no such thing as a "too large" church in numbers - it's the functioning of the church that matters. Multiplicity of leadership is important and how each individual is discipled. In our church, we have 9 pastors and 45 cell leader couples so that's 54 leaders in the church and that makes things work much better (not to mention all the ministry leaders who are not cell leaders, and the deacons - makes for a large "staff").
Our church runs about 800 on a Sunday and I like that, although I wish I DID know everyone - but that's just not possible, especially with me having a family and there being 2 services. I do know the majority of the people though - by name even.
No number is too big as long as the Lord is the One building it. However today both big and small have turned form the word to accomadate the flesh and that makes most churches of this day dead. :tear:
I go to a small friendly church, too. And I love it. Less than 250 on a Sunday morning. On the other hand, if we spend too much time knowing everybody's names, and feeling like we are all family, it can become hard to reach out and bring other people in.
Family is great, but it should be a family that equips to serve out in the world, not just meet each other's needs.
I have trouble with such broad, sweeping statements. How do you know this?
Honestly, I have never seen growth as a value in and of itself. Much better to have 1000 churches of 50 members each than to have one church with 50,000 members.
The main purpose of a church is worship, not growth.