Small Church Ministry
When 200 Feels Huge: 5 Reasons Churches of 200 Are Considered Small
If you're pastoring a church of 50 or fewer, a church of 200 might seem massive. But we have more in common than you'd think.

2. Churches of 200 and under face similar frustrations

Most church leadership resources are designed for churches that have at least some full-time paid staff. They can attend conferences and staff meetings. They have adequate time for sermon prep, worship practice, youth camps, and so on.

But every 200-and-under pastor knows the frustrations of not having quite enough time. And not being able to find the resources to help us do it better.

We've also had our hearts broken by people who leave the church after we've invested untold hours into them. The bigger a church grows, the more attendance is about statistics. Under 200 it's about relationships.

3. Churches of 200 and under offer similar benefits

It's easy to see the benefits in big churches. But that doesn't mean small churches have nothing to offer.

For example, one of the primary reasons people go to smaller churches is that they can be pastored by their pastor. They can know the pastor personally, and be known by the pastor.

200-and-under churches can also offer a closer family feel, more chances for everyone's voice to be heard and many other blessings that get harder to find as churches get bigger.

The benefits offered by churches of 200 have a lot more overlap with churches of 50 (or less) than they do with churches of 500 (or larger).

4. Churches of 200 and under are normal-sized

Ninety-percent of churches are under 200. The ten percent of churches that are larger are outliers. The bigger they get, the greater the difference from smaller churches.

Church growth is great. It should be celebrated. But church growth above 200 isn’t typical.

If your church is under 200, you’re not broken, you’re normal.

5. Churches of 200 and under need each other

Should we stop trying to learn church growth from those over 200? No. We should always strive for growth and learn from everyone we can.

If we’re only learning from leaders of big churches, we’re missing out on a lot.

But if we’re only learning from leaders of big churches, we’re missing out on a lot.

To get some help from those in the trenches with us, check out the great stuff from Jeff & Jonny at, where they call a 200Church "a church of around 200 people, give or take a hundred or two."

Whether your church is 20, 50, 100, 200 or somewhere in between, we’re not that different from each other.

Let’s learn from those who have pushed past growth barriers. But let’s not forget the valuable lessons that can only be learned from those who share our struggles. And our blessings.

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The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

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