Small Church

Servant Leaders,

Why do so many churches who are small, stay small? Why do they struggle to break through to the next level? Is size the only measure of a ministry’s influence? The majority of you reading this are probably leaders or faithful supporters of small/medium size ministries and have no doubt wrestled with these and like questions. I know I have!

Check out the article, 10 Reasons Small Churches Tend to Stay Small, by Dr. Joe McKeever. Don’t miss out on the great commentary from other leaders who share their reflections and insights as well. Just click on the small church above to access this article from Do any of the reasons listed apply to you or your present ministry context? Do you agree or disagree with the reasons given? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject!




  1. Often the issue is not a church being “small”, but a church remaining the size it is and has been for a very long time. I am on the board of a church that is not small compared to most churches. We run about 600 on a given Sunday, but we have been that size, with small fluctuations, for over 10 years. I think we face the same issue as a congregation of 15 or 50.

    Once an organization “settles in” at a certain size and sustains that size for a significant period, it generally takes a dramatic change to “break through to the next level”, as you put it. This applies to business, social groups, etc. There is a plethora of reasons for this organizational characteristic. The author does a good job of listing the top ones for churches. However, I don’t think addressing those items really will change your organization.

    Once an organization is “settled in”, it takes something DRAMATIC to change it, no matter its size. It really isn’t even about new programs, preachers, or facilities. Yes, a new preacher or a new program could be the catalyst for that dramatic change, but it is the drama itself that drives the organization to change. “Drama” can come in many forms – revival, catastrophe, challenge, persecution, death, etc.

    My suggestion for church leaders is that they focus their prayer and meditation on asking God to identify the drama that they can use to break through to the next level of growth. Is it time for a meaningful, significant revival? Not just a week long church service that we call a “revival”, but a significant event for the whole church to get out and change their community. Hmm, that is an often overlooked “drama” – service. The church tends to see service as either within the walls or “far away”, when there are plenty of service opportunities right down the street. Get your congregation outside the walls of the church and serve the poor, victims of natural disasters, shut-ins, or anyone that does not go to your church. Has something horrible happened in your community? Reach out!! Offer free counseling to the community. Have a concert to raise money for something that will help everyone.

    The theme you see in this is that for a church to change where it is, it must become an AGENT of change!! That only happens through a DECISION to change, which comes from a NEED for change (the drama).

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