Schaller, Lyle E.The Very Large Church: New Rules for Leaders

Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2000) 247 pages, paperback, $20.00. Obtain from Abingdon Press, 201 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203

The Very Large Church is one of Schaller’s best books to date. It is a must read for ANY size church because it challenges ALL the rules by which most churches live and synthesizes a multitude of disciplines from which he makes his usual, long, but informative, lists of implications. Schaller surveys the landscape and concludes that three implications are crucial for the very large church: relevance in worship, excellence in all programming, and large amounts of choices. It is Schaller’s conclusion that the world needs more very large churches because they are the public’s clear choice of church size.

Now, there is a question begging to be answered in this book. If most of Schaller’s research on the very large church is based on Baby Boomer churches (and it is), then does it hold up for the anti-institutional crowd that is coming after the Boomers? It is my contention that the preferred size of churches will begin to get smaller with the passing of the Boomer crowd. What do you think?