The Aftermath

It has been my observation that many proponents of modern church-growth teaching are out of touch with average pastors around the world. The very large majority of pastors shepherd flocks that consist of less than a hundred people. Many of these pastors become disheartened after trying church-growth techniques that don’t work or that backfire through no fault of their own. No one seems to admit that there are several factors beyond the control of pastors that limit the growth of their churches. Let us consider some of them now.

First and foremost, church growth is limited by the size of the local population. It is obvious that most large institutional churches are found in large metropolitan areas. They often have millions of people from which to draw church members. If numbers, however, are a true determination of success, then a church should be judged, not by size, but by its percentage of the local population. On that basis, some churches of ten people are much more successful than other churches of ten thousand. A church with ten members in a village of fifty people is more successful than a church of ten thousand in a city of five million. (Yet those ten-people pastors will never be asked to speak at a church-growth convention.)