As part of a class at my church, I recently finished reading a book called “One Size Doesn’t Fit All,” by Gary McIntosh. While the title suggests that any church of any size is okay, it’s really a book focused on church growth.
There was one theme that stuck out to me as I was reading. McIntosh suggests that there is no such thing as a healthy medium size church (201-400 attendees). Churches are either growing or shrinking.He writes:
…many medium sized churches face the decision of having to adjust their ministries to continue to growing into a large church. If they don’t make the appropriate adjustments, they will either plateau for a time of decline back to a small church size. Some medium-sized churches will plateau and stay at the medium church size, but the pull downward is stronger that the pull upward. It’s usually just a matter of time before the plateaued church gets smaller.
McIntosh lays out what effects growth. Things like changes in structure, leadership, pastoral role, decision making, staff and others. If a church doesn’t make certain changes it just keeps stretching instead of actually growing.
This whole idea of no such thing as a healthy medium sized church is interesting to me. What’s your experience? Is it true that if a church isn’t growing it will eventually shrink? Can a healthy church hover at 350 regular attendees?