Friday, February 23, 2007

Andy Stanley on optimal church size

I came across this blog post about Andy Stanley's church(es) where Andy actually jumps in and gets involved in the comment stream. The thing that stood out about what he said was his church's philosophy on the optimal size for a church. I think he has a great point.
Our theory is that a church should be allowed or encouraged to grow large enough to sustain a viable high school and middle school ministry. A successful student ministriy requires critical mass in order to capture and keep the attention of their target audience. So the question becomes, how many aduilts are required to generate critical mass for a student ministry? That depends upon the demographic of a community.

If you are a twenty six year old seminary student with a couple of kids in diapers that may not sound like a great answer. But if you are a church planter with 150 people and one of your elders just informed you that her family is leaving because you don't have anything for her thirteen year old, it makes painful sense.

Parents will put up with a lot in big church if thier teenagers feel connected to a student ministry.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Stanley and have for a long time. I could go on and on but it comes down to making youths and their young families feel welcome and comfortable. It's a fine line of respecting the needs of the older population while understanding that the family life of young families is quite different than it was 20 years ago.

It's a weird parallel but I think back to generations ago when literacy was finally spreading and more and more could interpret the Bible without relying on a select few. Now, young families want to learn and worship in different ways again. I keep waiting for some people to realize that these ways are different but just as meaningful as the old hymns, a robed choir, and a preacher who only gives sermons from a pulpit. For the sake of young families, I pray we can accept others style of worship and praise. kara

Jason Woolever said...

amen to that!