Does Church Size Matter?

No Size Too Big or Small

In an age where megachurches grow on trees, smaller churches can seem forgotten. But does the attendance number of a church matter? Pastors Kevin DeYoung, Matt Chandler, and Mark Dever sit down to talk to each other and to local pastors on the subject of church size. Each pastor leads a different sized church, so they discuss their different situations, the similarities between the three churches, and guiding principles as they lead their congregations. 

Kevin DeYoung is Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. Matt serves as Lead Pastor of Teaching at The Village Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Dr. Mark Dever serves as the Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. 

 The three speakers agree that church size shouldn’t matter. Faithfulness sets a congregation apart no matter how may people sit in the pews.

How large is your church? What problems or issues do you face because of the size of your church? What are some of they joys and privileges of your church size?
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Matt said in his church, he has to maintain clear communication with other leaders. He encouraged pastors to be willing to empower people—to empower people. What is your response to that principle? Could you see it applying to your church and style of leadership? Why or why not?
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Bigger doesn’t mean better or badder. Kevin encouraged pastors to not make numbers all-consuming. He offered two specific encouragements:

  1. Examine your heart.
  2. Keep your hand on the plow.

How does Kevin’s encouragement strike you? Which one stands out to you the most? Why?
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Mark said there’s no such thing as a too-big or a too-small church. What do you think of his statement? Do you agree? Why or why not?
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Mark and Matt both talked about the growth of their churches. Matt experienced exponential growth while Mark’s church grew in slow, steady increments. What has your experience with church growth been? How do you handle growth at your church as a pastor?
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Mark and Kevin ended the session encouraging pastors to pray for other evangelical churches in their area. How could you pray for other churches in your town or city this week? What steps could you take to apply Kevin’s encouragement to examine your heart and persevere as you lead your church?
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Regardless of how large or small your church is, you can be faithful to the congregation God gives you. Pray for your church, and other local churches, this week. Examine your heart to see if you hold numbers higher than ministry and serving God. Persevere in loving your congregation. God will provide for you and the church. 

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