Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Church size - more about moving through the 200 barrier

Tim Keller identifies further issues for a church moving through the 200 barrier:

- A willingness to let power shift away from lay leaders to staffers. The old approach to decision-making requiring total consensus from everyone is now too unwieldy and up to this point any change that brings strong opposition and the possibility of anyone leaving the church is avoided. Growth toward the 200 barrier brings the point where someone is going to experience discomfort at any change and in order to facilitate necessary changes (necessary for growth!) much decision-making has to move to leaders and staff. Increasingly staff will know more about the members than lay leaders and newcomers will take their cues from the pastor and the staff. Decisions will need to be made by those individuals on the ground rather than the traditional committee.

- A willingness to be more formal and deliberate in assimilation and communication. Where previously this has taken place ‘naturally’, without planning, it now has to become more deliberate and thought out – word of mouth is no longer sufficient. If newcomers are to find their place in the church a more intentional and organised approach is required from the church.

- An ability and willingness of both pastor and people to allow the pastor to do less pastoring and more leading. More vision-casting, strategising and administrative ability is required at this level. Recruiting and supervising volunteers and programmes become more time-consuming while planning, delegating, supervising and organising become more important. At the same time the pastor becomes increasingly less available to the membership - this development needs to be recognised and accepted by both pastor and people.