Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Church size - the medium-sized church: 200-450 attenders

At this point of growth Keller states that the interplay between three vital parameters of church life comes into focus more clearly. The three are team, facilities and finance – place them as the three sides of a triangle to see how they affect the stability of the church; if one of them is weak it will affect the life and growth of the church. So much so that if a church has stopped growing it is usually one of these areas – or a combination of them – that needs to be looked at carefully.

In a church at this stage of growth, the primary circle of belonging for the individual ceases to be the entire membership of the church and becomes a specific ministry group within it. Men’s and women’s ministries, a worship group, an outreach team, the social action group, youth work, children’s ministry – all these are possible circles of belonging that make church life ‘living’. Each of these groups is likely to be the size of a house church, namely 10 to 40 people.

In the medium-sized church, leadership functions differently – the structure becomes increasingly complex and the leaders must represent the different areas of church life such as young families, older people etc. There is now too much work to be handled by one committee or board and work is devolved to influential leadership teams that have the power to make important decisions. Leaders are now chosen not for their length of service and strength of personality but for their skills and gifts in specialised tasks and roles. Lay leaders cease to have the power to merely rubber stamp proposals or withhold permission and are required to be active in ministry or lose their role.

The senior leader now becomes less of a practitioner and becomes a trainer and organiser of others. He must be able to train, support, supervise and organise - this requires significant administrative skills. Change is generally driven by forward looking groups – often the mission, ministry or evangelism team.