Thursday, April 13, 2006

Small Church Disease

About a month ago, Barna announced some new findings. It seems that many church leaders may be good at motivating people (92%), but really struggle with having any sort of good strategy when it comes to ministry, or goals. (Only about 14% have any strategic mindset.)

I am not surprised when Barna mentioned the struggle small churches (less than 100 people) particularly tend to have:
[We found] some interesting correlations between the absence of a Strategic leader and the condition of a local church. First, churches without a pastor, staff member or key elder in a recognized strategic leader position tend to remain numerically small. Such churches average fewer than 100 adults in weekly attendance. Second, these are churches that are significantly behind the curve in adopting new approaches to ministry. ...That condition is partly a result of the budget limitations attributable to limited attendance, but also relates to the narrower thinking common to such ministries.

He goes on the express the problems of many churches to recognize strategic leaders in their midst, and how that hurts the church. Why is that? Why is strategy seen as best, an issue of administration, or at worst a sinful attitude or lack of faith.

1 comment:

  1. This is quite a chicken/egg argument here. Is the church small because there are no strategic thinkers? Or are there no strategic thinkers because the church is small?

    Strategy is not something our movement valued. We valued biblical-fidelity (and rightly so), but our brand of biblica-fidelity led us back to outdated strategies that do not produce the results other churches see.

    Much of it comes down to two things:

    1. Our definition of success -- Do we define success as "doing bible things in bible ways" or "reaching lost people for Christ" or "reaching as many lost people for Christ as we can while doing bible things in bible ways"?

    2. Strategy must be seen as part of stewardship -- stewardship of time, energy, creative, volunteers, etc.