Breaking the 100 Barrier

Here’s a few thoughts from pastors who are leading their churches past the 100 barrier…

  • It’s impossible to grow a church beyond 100 people if there’s one person who makes all the decisions and calls all the shots.

Okay, impossible may be too strong, but the emphasis is clear. Breaking the 100 barrier is all about getting more people involved in ministry. If you “have” to do it all yourself, you are stunting the growth potential of your church.

  • When one person controls the ministry, it denies God’s plan to equip God’s people to do his work. Healthy growth doesn’t happen outside of God’s design.

Ephesians 4:11-13 make it clear that a spiritual leader’s key role is to equip others for the work of ministry, not control all ministry functions himself.

  • Many times people have to leave before the church can become healthy and experience growth.

While I want to argue against this point because I don’t want pastors using this statement as license to push people away, I also know that many churches remain small because of the control of people other than the pastor. Sometimes controlling factions have to be broken apart before a church can begin to fulfill its destiny.

  • Many times the people who leave make little if any financial impact with their departure. In other words, your most vocal antagonists in many cases are giving very little to the church.

While this isn’t always true, there is a reality to watch. Truth is, people leave a church financially before they leave it physically. So, usually, those who leave the church are not CURRENTLY giving. A wise pastor would give some effort to uncover fixable problems when someone in the church ceases to give.

  • It’s difficult to build momentum with regular transitions in leadership.

George Barna states that the average tenure of a pastor in Protestant churches has declined to just 4 years—even though studies consistently show that pastors experience their most productive and influential ministry in years 5 through 14 of their pastorate. Little wonder many churches never experience their greatest potential.

  • Growth in churches is more about relationships than anything else.

Growth is actually about many things, but relationships are essential. If a congregation isn’t embracing new people or loving the ones it currently has, there is little potential for growth.

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