Method #3: The Systems Assessment
The best way to lead a small church is to pastor appropriately for the size you are now, while setting up systems, discipleship and outreach for double your current size.
For example, if you’re pastoring a church of 50, it needs to be pastored like a church of fifty, while developing systems, discipleship and outreach that are suited to a church of 100.
Once you get those in place, if your church grows to fit the bigger systems, discipleship and outreach, you’re meant to grow to that size. Then, at your new size, you do the same thing. Pastor appropriately for that size, while preparing for double.
On the other hand, if you have systems, discipleship and outreach for double your current size, but the church doesn’t grow to that size, maybe you’ve found your ideal size – or at least your right size for right now.
That’s okay. There’s no rule that says your church has to get bigger to have effective ministry.
And, don’t worry, the time you’ve put into creating bigger systems hasn’t been a waste. As I wrote about in The Mission Deserves Margin, having those systems in place will give you an appropriate amount of time and space so you won’t have to be running at 100 percent all the time.
Do What Works
The bottom line is this.
If hands-on, personal ministry is a higher priority for you than coordinating and strategizing with other leaders, you’re likely called to small church ministry. But if overseeing the team that does hands-on ministry fits you better, you’re likely to be more effective in big church ministry.
There are no right or wrong choices here. Just what works for you and the ministry you’re called to do.
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