Small Church Solutions – The Need for Scalability

I thought some of you might find this article on Scalable Small Church Solutions of interest. In highlight how many megachurch solutions are little more than recipes for burn out and frustration in microchurches, the author introduces the concept of scalability, and how many solutions we hear of are inherantly unscalable.

Scalable is a word usually reserved for technology insiders and it refers mainly to things like font sizes that can be resized or computer networks that can be expanded as necessary.

A Scalable Small Church Solution is a concept, resource, tool or approach to ministry that works as well in a church of 25 as it does in a church of 150. And that’s what’s needed because the “average” weekly church attendance across the US is under 100, but the solutions that get the most promotion are the programs and approaches to ministry that demand the time, money and resources that don’t exist in the average congregation.

I find this is the dilemma for many small churches: they need solutions that fit small churches, but the only solutions they hear of through the Christian publishing houses are those coming from large churches, so, having no easy alternative, they buy in.

Now, it would be easy for a guy like me to criticize such leaders for their lack of imagination, and true, I have at times, many times, but I have also come to realize over time that some leaders simply lack that gift, and we shouldn’t punnish them for it. In short, a more generous approach is required.

Quite simply, it seems to me that small churches need to be resourced more often by other small churches, but we have a dilemma in that most simply don’t have the time or energy or cudos to market themselves nationally, and internationally, and many still aren’t that web savvy either, so blog networking isn’t the be all and end all either. This throws me back to thinking of the ancient role of the nomadic apostle, and how that might manifest in a more decentralized community. Many cell church networks have leaders that move between cell churches, functioning in an apostolic capacity. What might arise in flatter, less hierachial Christian communities?

For more see Wanted: Scalable Small Church Solutions

One thought on “Small Church Solutions – The Need for Scalability

  1. Agreed, Matt! But I tend to side with Brad here and wonder about the ego/mentality that projects that churches cannot raise up folks in their midst who can do this.
    I experienced this when I wrote a tailored version of the 40 Days of Purpose for our church that dovetailed with the curriculum I had previously written and had been teaching for three years in that church which functioned in the assimilation mode–helping people feel welcomed, helping people figure out what they believe and why, and then grounding them in what we believed and how we functioned as the Body of Christ.
    Some wondered, as I was writing feverishly to finish on time, whether it would be poor quality–in writing and in publication. Others wondered why we couldn’t do the same thing everyone else was doing. But when we launched on that Wednesday night in October, rain and all, 800 of the 1100 people who participated were there and our small group count doubled from 50 group to 100 groups for the six weeks.
    The doubters were blown away…and we shared our materials with a number of small churches in our fellowship across the country. We were part of the 40 Days program, we just used our own materials.
    There are some large churches who are very open to sharing resources they have developed with sister congregations they know. But it takes openness and humility on both ends of the spectrum…and there’s the rub, eh?


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