Which Game Are We Playing?

4 sports that parallel the growing-church experience.

As your church or ministry team grows, the game changes. Different rules apply. Things just don't work the same when you're a church of 300 as they did when you're a church of 30. As a church leader, here's what you can expect at each stage.

Track star

The solo pastor can be compared to a track-and-field star. That's where most of us start out, and many choose to stay in that role. On the up side, the single-staff pastorate offers tremendous freedom. On the down side, it can be overwhelming and lonely.

Like the sprinter, the solo pastor may work out with others, but he or she performs alone—often without fanfare and usually before a small crowd peppered with family and friends. Like a marathon runner, you learn to keep going whether anyone is cheering you on or not.

Independent types love it. Sometimes the highly relational do, too, because the smaller church provides opportunity for deeper personal relationships.

The opposite can also happen, especially in a small church with a long ...

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