The church I work for is growing! There is a Kingdom movement happening that God is doing through the power of prayer that is just absolutely awesome to see! In two years we’ve gone from a church of around 300 (*corrected) active members to 500 active members (attending at least once a month). We have gone from average attendance of 200-225 (this included our children) to 350-400 each week (this doesn’t include our children whom have Children’s Church each week). When I got here there was a staff of three, I made four, we are now six. Our Children’s Pastor, Pastor Carron, a little over two years ago shared with me that she knew every kid’s name that attended our church. Two days ago she told me, “Chad I don’t know half the kids here. At first that made me sad, but now I love being able to share Jesus with sponges that have never heard about Him before.”!
Thus with all this growth there is change, because, “growth changes everything and everyone.” And with change there has been a change in communication and knowledge that individuals have about what is happening or going to happen in the church, I believe this has been one of the most frustrating realities for many within our church, especially those that have been a part of the church since it was 175 members (we are now at almost 730 members). So today I heard a great analogy from Pastor Larry Osborne from North Coast Church that I thought I would share with y’all:
A small church 50-150 (maybe even 200) is like a group of buddies on a golf outing. Everyone knows and can see exactly what is going on. Everyone is hitting for the most part similar shots. Everyone is talking about the shots being hit, there is constant interaction with everyone. But churches grow…
A larger church 150-350+ is like a basketball team. On a basketball team everyone knows all the plays. Even the people on the bench. But only a few will know exactly what everyone is supposed to do. Usually this is the point guard(s) (1 guard) and the coaching staff. The coach because he/she wrote the play, the point guard because he has to know where everyone will be at the right time to deliver the ball to the correct person. On a basketball team though most individuals have different roles. No longer is everyone hitting the same shot and doing everything together, though everyone still has a general idea of what is going on and has the ability if they want to know exactly where everyone is and what everyone should be doing. But churches grow…
A church 400-500 and beyond becomes more like a football team. In football there is offense and there is defense. There is the special teams unit which covers punts and there is the special teams unit which covers kickoffs. Furthermore the defense may have a group that plays only on a cover two package or only on a nickel package; the offense may have a spread offense and guys that only are in on plays that are part of the goalline package…Are you confused? Exactly! Larry Osborne illustrated it like this:
“One of my friends was the fifth pick in the NFL draft back when we were in college. We were hanging out one day and I asked him what it was like to play against, and I named a specific running back? My friend said, ‘I don’t know.’ Come on man, is he amazing to watch? What is it like? You play these guys twice a year. ‘Larry I am an offensive lineman. During the week I don’t look at any game tape of him. During the game he is not on the field when I am on the field and when I am off the field I am sitting on a bench listening to our offensive line coach and looking through photos of the last series of plays to see where we need to improve or what we did right, or how to stunt block someone. So when I say I don’t know, I don’t know anymore than you.’”
On the football team everyone has their own unique area and very few people, if any, know everything! They all have their own assignments and their own roles, no one not even the head coach knows exactly every detail of every unit.
At the football or basketball level not everyone can share an opinion or know every detail in a meeting or else the meetings would go ’till midnight. And not every member from church can know exactly how everything is happening or have time to share their opinion or things would bottleneck.
Larry said that is the reality of being part of a growing church. And a person who is a member or a leader of a church that is in the basketball or football stage that is still wanting to be a “golfing buddy” will have a very hard time!
“People who were used to being golfing buddies are often in for a “relational shock” when the church grows and the game changes.“
Osborne gives two important indicators that the game has changed:
“relational overload and increased miscommunication.”
I believe our church is somewhere between the basketball team and the football team and it is a struggle!
Where are y’all at?