Big or Small?

12250036 I am a big fan of large churches.

I am a big fan of small churches.

For completely different reasons.

Small churches can bring with them a sense of family, close fellowship, and opportunities for inter-generational engagement, and close fellowship. They also bring opportunities to serve that allude some in larger churches.

Larger churches tend to offer better programming, higher spiritual vitality, the capacity to tackle huge challenges and opportunities. Frankly…tend to do more effective ministry.

Here's what I predict: those who hear those descriptions and prefer either large or small will think I'm generalizing…that big churches, for example, offer close fellowship as well. Others will say, "Small churches do just as good a ministry as the big ones." Let me say that these are generalizations.

I have served in churches with attendance of 70 up to 2000. All are awesome in their own way. Here's the question: What size, if any, should aspire to? My opinion is that it isn't a particular size that should be aspired to, but health, depth, and growth through conversions and "recoveries" (i.e, the "dechurched."). This should lead a church to grow with time.

Some believe that growth is virtually irrelevant. Some even believe growth can be harmful when it causes the church to get so big that the "family feel" goes away. What do you think? Is growth a part of God's plan for all churches, some churches, or no churches? And, is there a particular size that God prefers the church to be? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

The Turnaround Churches series will continue tomorrow.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including:, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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