Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Keller on Church size - breaking through the 800 barrier

The same five changes mentioned previously in the context of transitioning through the 200 barrier need to be taken to the next level:

- Multiplication options. A mediocre or poor small group system may have sufficed previously as people receive shepherding via programmes, classes and groups run by staffers. At this point the small group system needs to be well run and cover pastoral care as well as the Bible study for which it is generally valued. Small group life is the key to successful navigation of this barrier.

- Multiplying staff. Up to this point a small staff of generalists may have been sufficient but now staff members must be gifted in particular specialisms – not just workers or even able to lead workers but able to lead leaders. Qualities of maturity, independence and the ability to attract and supervise others are of increasing importance.

- Shifting decision-making power. After a stage where decision-making power was increasingly centralised - from the whole church through the lay leaders, to the staff and then to the senior staff – it now becomes increasingly decentralised again to individual staff and their leadership teams. As well as an increase in competency they must have an increasing authority to make certain executive decisions.

- Increasing formality and deliberateness in assimilation. Well organised, highly detailed and supervised incorporation of newcomers becomes essential.

- Adapting the role of the senior pastor. The pastor must concentrate on preaching, large group teaching, vision casting and strategising and is less accessible for individual shepherding.