Best size of a church?

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by buggy, Jun 6, 2010.

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  1. buggy

    buggy Puritan Board Freshman

    I have just a read an article talking about mega-churches with thousands of members, and they need an huge auditorium to occupy them etc. I'm thinking - it's going to so huge, how are things like Communion going to be handled?

    Not to be a "church growth" advocate here, what do you think is the best size of a church?
  2. Christopher88

    Christopher88 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Small enogh where you can be a part of the community, but big enough where money comes in to support the mission of the Church.
    I prefer small congregations. I like getting to know my Pastors and elders on a personal level.
  3. Montanablue

    Montanablue Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm not sure there's a "best size." I think it depends on the community and the person. My parents go to a small church and love it because they know everyone very intimately. I go to a more medium sized church (in a small town, but we serve a large region) and I don't know everyone, but I really enjoy the variety of people. I'm sure for others there are benefits of a large church.
  4. jambo

    jambo Puritan Board Senior

    My own personal opinion is that a church should be between 80-120 members. When a church exceeds 100 members it becomes a bit more difficult to get to know everyone and the sense of close fellowship can be lost. With 80-120 members it is still big enough to be self supporting. My own personal view is that when a church reaches the 120 mark it should set aside around 40 members to be a church plant in a different nearby location. That church in turn will grow and plant.

    That is really how our present church came into being. A church in the centre of Belfast set aside some of its members who lived in one of the suburbs to plant a church back in 1970. In 1989 this church then set aside some members from the neighbouring town of Lisburn to plant a church here in in the Lambeg area of the town.

    We do not have mega churches over here but there are some big churches which have two services on a Sunday. I feel this is almost the case of two different churches meeting on the one premises at different times.
  5. Beoga

    Beoga Puritan Board Freshman

    Whatever the Lord blesses you with in the clear proclamation of the Gospel and right administration of the sacraments?
  6. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    However many people live within the areas in which your church is the closest gospel-preaching church. I'd love to figure out what to do in that situation.
  7. MLCOPE2

    MLCOPE2 Puritan Board Junior

  8. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    As small as possible - we've got to protect our purity. I'm thinking no more than 10 families, otherwise liberalism might slip in.
  9. O'GodHowGreatThouArt

    O'GodHowGreatThouArt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Depends on how you define "Families". In some cases, taking 10 families could mean 20 people, or over a thousand.
  10. Theoretical

    Theoretical Puritan Board Professor

    This is roughly my view as well. I think after 100 the church really needs to look at getting an associate pastor if it doesn't have a good place to plant the church. But it also depends a lot on location and cost of living.

    I think the main problem with large churches is just the inability of the pastor to know the flock very personally, and only indirectly through elders and lay leaders. But I'm not interested in just 1 reformed church in a city, I want bunches of ones around the community.

    I'm not sure how the pastoral supply vs. demand dynamic is these days, but that might also play into it, simply because 1 5000 member church diviied up into 50 100 member churches means a LOT more pastors needed.
  11. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    This. +1,000,000
  12. O'GodHowGreatThouArt

    O'GodHowGreatThouArt Puritan Board Sophomore

    Pastoral supply depends on if you want biblical or non-biblical.

    Non-biblical would probably fill a football field. Biblical...I'm willing to bet that I can count the supply on two hands (this is not factoring in Elders already in service elsewhere).
  13. Theoretical

    Theoretical Puritan Board Professor

    Biblical is presumed in the question. I grew in a church that allowed all kinds of liberal filth in and wouldn't wish it on anyone (and it was tamer than many others!).

    As far as I'm concerned, if every single mainline church closed down tomorrow, you'd lose a few good churches but remove thousands and thousands more false teachers than you would sound ones.
  14. Grimmson

    Grimmson Puritan Board Sophomore

    In regards to size: I would say not to large whereby the pastor does have the time to visit you and your family in a period of three to five weeks or so regularly to see how your doing, which would include the catechism training of your family. You can not shepard effectively who you do not know in my opinion. This can vary for the individual from 100 to maybe 200 members if he good with time management.
  15. Tim

    Tim Puritan Board Graduate

    I will say that there seems to be a different feel between:

    1) 20 families of 2-3 people each;
    2) 5 families of 10 people each.

    The latter would be easier for pastors to oversee, I would think.
  16. Jimmy the Greek

    Jimmy the Greek Puritan Board Senior

  17. sdesocio

    sdesocio Puritan Board Freshman

    A church at every size will have its benefits and its set backs. And Biblically, God has not told us that a certain size church is best. The first NT church was a mega-church yet Acts latter seems to say in other cities there were small home churches.

    Right now where I am I do have a preference, but if God brings more or less people thats his decision.
    We are starting a church in Pittsburgh and our focus is on a more localized church so around 150 seems to be the max number in my heard right now, at 150 we will plant, but again God could change that.
  18. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Some larger churches also have a larger number of elders and also small groups to help maintain a sense of connectedness. In this case (even if a jumbo-tron is invovled) it seems that a large multitude could gather at once.
  19. Tripel

    Tripel Puritan Board Senior

    As long as you have enough elders to shepherd the flock, the church can be any size.

    As for me, I prefer a medium-sized church; one that offers a lot of the ministry opportunities of a large church, but is still small enough to where visitors don't go unnoticed.

    My church has around 600 on the roles (including children) but our average Sunday attendance is 350-400. And we have 3 teaching elders and 10 ruling elders.
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