For the 94% of churches in America under 500, their goal should not be to grow to be a church of 10,000. Churches of 10,000 comprise the top .5% of all churches in the United States. In other words, 99.5% of all churches do not reach 10,000; and 94% of churches never top 500.
Take a look at those numbers again. That’s right, 94% of churches are under 500 people. That qualifies as “most” churches, right? About 75% of all American churches are under 200 people. So when we (Jeff and Jonny) chose the domain name, 200churches.com, we wanted to refer to all the churches of about 200 and under, which are the vast majority in the nation, and in fact, in the world.
When we talk about goals for our churches, very few churches should be setting “numbers of people” goals. Some can and should, but we believe that most churches, because of the nature of their community and setting, as well as the purpose and structure of their church, should not.
What is a good goal for a church of, say, 200, or 100, or 50? What is a great goal for a smaller church, any church around 200 or under? We want to suggest that church health is a great goal!
But what is meant by a “healthy church”? We hear a lot about church health, but what specifically does it look like? On this week’s podcast, we unpack exactly what we mean by a healthy church, and it really has nothing to do with packing people in the pews or dollars in the church checking account.
Somehow, in the latter half of the 20th century, American Christianity began to consider increased attendance and offerings as the major marks of success. Thankfully, the current generation of millennial believers has not experienced that phenomenon and is generally more impressed with relationships, service, and justice.
To be a healthy church is to be a growing church yes – perhaps growing in numbers, but certainly in care, in service, in selflessness, in relationships, in equipping believers, and in worship, among other areas.
To be a healthy church also means understanding what makes a church unhealthy. Prioritizing programs over people, popularity over principles, or administrative structure over relationships bring dis-ease and un-health. A healthy church must maintain the proper priorities and minimize the institutionalization that inevitably creeps into all organizations.
To be a healthy, a church must practice certain biblical habits and be powered by the right motivational fuel. In this week’s podcast, episode 108, we lay out those habits and motivation. In fact, in today’s blog post, we have purposely left out the greatest cause of church health. The one thing that is an instant and constant game-changer for every church to be healthy, we have intentionally not mentioned.
When a church is healthy, it will grow to its Kingdom potential. Jesus said, “I will build my church”, and it certainly is his church, and he is the one growing it. He has different sizes for different churches, and there is certainly not a “one size fits all” number that we should expect a church to grow to. We are going to share with you our thoughts on a healthy church this week.
So don’t miss Episode 108, A Deep Dive Into The Fundamentals Of A Healthy Church! We hope that it encourages and motivates you toward greater health in your 200church!
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