Should ‘bigger’ be one of the things that should keep church leaders up at night? Bigger isn’t always better. I definitely don’t want a bigger waste line. I could pass on a bigger phone bill too. Somehow we have all bought into the concept of bigger solving all our problems. Bigger houses, bigger bank accounts. In the immortal words of Christopher Wallace, “the more money we come across the more problems we see.”
The same principle applies in the church world. Seems like everyone wants more people in the seats. But what is the real win? Seats filled don’t always lead to impact, or involvement.
I believe Jesus knew this better than any of us. Anytime he came to a place where he felt the crowds were too large, he would say something to deter people who weren’t fully bought into the cause. Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. -John 6:53
Yet we seem to strive to appease everyone as to not lose them or offend them.
Now, don’t swing the pendulum to the extreme and think I am saying every church should only have 12 people in it. I am only saying, measure what matters.
The increase of the mega church in recent years has been great and made some positive impact. I’ve personally been a part of 2 mega churches with longevity and reach, and yet both began as church plants with less than 150 people. But that model is few and far between.
The average church size in America is 83 people. So, how do we effectively make a difference?
How do you as a leader of the church ‘compete’ against the Apple’s, Coca Cola’s, Starbucks, and Google’s of the church world? The same way Motorola, Zevia, Donut shops, and Yahoo do. Know your audience. Who are you really trying to reach?
When we say we want to reach everyone, we effectively reach no one. The “new” church decade is upon us. 2020 will reveal fresh vision, new direction, different connections than we’ve ever seen.
Millennials and Gen Z generation don’t care about the “program”, the lights, the production or the disingenuous facade of large crowds and disconnected leaders. People are beginning to crave what we were all created for–intimacy.
VIP experiences, backstage passes, smaller sold out venues. It’s what the music industry is promoting now. Exclusiveness also translates to inclusiveness.
The thing you think is working against you is the best thing going for you. We only need to unlock focused connection to the communities we are called to reach.
Of all the things that should keep church leaders up at night, is making sure we see and reach the individual. As we strive to reach more people, we must look beyond the numbers.
Christ did not give us a formula to reach all people at once. He gave us a blueprint to reach and make an impact with individual people, the same way He wants an individual relationship with us.