Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Keller on Church size - the very large church - 800 plus

Keller describes the character of such a church:

- Missional focus – now the needs and interests of outsiders are prioritised above those of the members/insiders. Staff and executive leaders gain a louder voice. The more staff-driven a church is, the more likely it will concentrate on ministries that reach non-members that will not directly benefit its own constituents, e.g. – church planting, mercy and justice ministries.

- Things that attract seekers and particularly young adults:

     • Excellence – quality of arts, teaching, children’s work are important to those who have no obligation to
        go to church because of kinship, tradition, ethnicity etc.
     • Choices – people are now used to having choices as to time of services, type of worship, ways of
        learning, support services etc.
     • Openness to change – newcomers and young people are generally more tolerant to constant change
       and the fluidity found in a large church. Older people and long-term members and families often place a
       high value on stability.
     • Low pressure – seekers often appreciate being able to come into a large gathering where they can 
       initially remain anonymous and no pressure is placed on them to join anything!

The very large church has the potential to develop certain qualities and ministries:

- Being multicultural. A larger staff can more easily be multi-ethnic; a larger church with multiple services/congregations can embrace a greater range of approaches.

- Creating a full family support system. Families will be attracted by a full range of groups for children of differing ages, recreational opportunities, etc.

- Church planting. Large churches are generally better at this than denominational agencies and smaller churches.

- Faith-based whole-person ministries. Because of their larger pool of volunteers, finances and expertise it is easier for the very large church to provide these.

- ‘R&D’ for the broader church. New curriculum and ministry structures are often formulated and tested in such churches rather than in denominations, smaller churches and parachurch organisations.