Every church has natural barriers through which it must pass as it grows. The numbers go something like this (all refer to worship attendance) 200, 500, 900, 3,000 and up.
These barriers are not hard and fast numbers, only approximate numbers. In other words you may have to grow to 500 to be totally free of the 200 barrier, but somewhere between those two numbers it happens.
So here’s a down and dirty explanation of breaking the barriers.
Breaking the 200 Barrier
- Don’t think of the church as one big happy family. Families don’t regularly take in new family members.
- Visualize your church twice its size and begin to act that way.
- Hire a full time worship leader to oversee all of the aspects of indigenous worship.
- Add a second worship service. Design the new service to reach the largest adult population in the area.
- Free the church of any controlling leaders.
Breaking the 500 Barrier
- The sooner you learn how to staff effectively the sooner you will break this barrier. This is the lead pastor’s biggest learning curve.
- Staff are hired to equip rather than to do ministry.
- Put in place all of the core ministries you will need to grow and disciple new people.
- Put a farm system in place to raise up leaders.
- Small groups that multiply and raise up new leaders need to be in place.
- Pastor begins pasturing the core staff rather than the church.
Breaking the 900 Barrier
- The key words now are multiplication, redundancy, intentionality, accountability, excellence, and equipping.
- All staff must be specialists, even Associate Pastors, or you don’t need them.
- The pastor is pastor to the core staff and views them as his or her church.
- All systems must be in place to take people from the market place to the mission field and all staff uses them.
Breaking the 3000 Barrier
- Space is the primary obstacle and parking is often the main space issue.