Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Church size - starting small

Keller examines churches of different sizes and from his research gives the following observations. He talks of ‘house churches’ with up to 40 attenders growing in an organic way attracting new people by their warmth, relationships and people. They have no recognised programme of outreach and find that newcomers, once they have been invited and have come along, tend to continue to attend because they are befriended.

The small church, which has between 40 and 200 members, continues to build on the importance of relationships between the members of the congregation but the relationship with the pastor tends to be the primary attraction for new people. With the backing of one key informal leader Keller maintains that the pastor can start and run two or three ministries, groups or activities which will in all likelihood bring lots of new people into the church

At this point, moving through the so-called ‘200 barrier’ becomes the issue. Keller actually talks about ‘making room’ for more than 200 people and I am sure he is not just talking about having the space - or enough chairs. A significant change in thinking and a commitment to many of the following changes is required.