My heart is for the pastor. Maybe it stems from the fact that I spent more years as a layperson…a deacon and Sunday school teacher…and now, as a pastor. I realize now how much I didn’t understand about the position. The role has a lot more expectations and pressures than I previously imagined. I always loved and supported the pastor, but looking back, I wish I had been an even better pastor’s friend.
I have had the privilege to serve as a coach to pastors for over 15 years, and I’ve noticed that it does not take long in the coaching relationship for the topic of church size to come up. I’ve also noticed that some pastors approach church growth with health and wholeness while others struggle with (and because of) church size. If you are a pastor, church planter, or key leader, you need a healthy and theologically sound attitude for dealing with church growth, size, and numbers. To help you develop such an attitude, here are five things to recognize when it comes to church size.
What churches offer is much more important than clothing, food, or coffee. Our business is introducing people to the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. We’re offering people a new life filled with purpose and joy. Because of that, we should be just as committed as local businesses are in making sure our guests feel valued. We want them to return. Here are some ideas that might help first-time guests feel welcome before they even hear the opening song in the service:
Like it or not, preaching is affected by far more than just your words. The best preachers don’t just preach with their lips, but with their whole body.
Sermon preparation is a delight and chore for the pastor. It is a delight because we love the Word of God and the people of God. After all, God uses preaching to initiate and sustain the joyful worship of his people, which in turn glorifies God (2 Tim. 3-4). It is also a chore. This is because sermon prep is hard work. Thorny interpretive issues, homiletical hurdles, and church family dynamics often make sermon preparation difficult.