4 Steps to Breaking the 200 Barrier
The hardest barrier to break in church growth is 200. The average size church in America is 87 adults. Why is this? Because the pastor can be the center of attention and all-knowing guru while the people can use him as the "go-to" person.
We made a mad push to break the 200 barrier in fall of 2013. We were at 175. Our verbiage was to "obliterate" the 200 barrier. So, with that in mind we started deliberately teaching our leaders on the dynamics of breaking this barrier. It is not a matter of numbers but a matter if the heart. Do you really want to reach people for Christ? It's going to cause you to break your comfort zone.
Remember: Breaking a barrier means your total adult attendance has been at that number for at least 2 months.
4 Principles to Breaking the 200 Barrier:
1. Break 125
•A pastor can get to this point just by being a funny, charismatic pastor. They can do it by being relational and hosting a quality worship experience. At this point the pastor has it on his shoulders. He should connect with these first 100-125.
2. Pastor Dethroned
•These next 3 are the hardest. You built it to 125-150 on you being the go-to guru and solving all problems.
The easiest way to dethrone the pastor is to make a hire that splits your duties. At this point you need another pastor who focuses on assimilation, groups and management. The pastor then starts directing people to this person. He allows them to oversee and solve problems.
Now this is a shift because up till now you have been the direct connecting point. The people and you have to shift your mind-sets.
3. Multiple Cell
Another characteristic of the church from 50-150 is that they do everything as a whole. There are a few affinity groups such as men, women, youth and young adults. But you are pretty much still a single cell organism.
Action steps are creating small group environments that go beyond affinity groups.
Another action step is to publicly confront the notion that everyone in the church must do it all together.
We mobilized our groups to become missional in outreach. They all chose an outreach individually.
4. Few Family Disease Cured
A church of 50-150 have those several families/groups that run the church. They serve on the boards, ministry departments and leadership roles.
The key to breaking this is to breaking this is to level the playing field. Spread leadership out. Raise other people up.
We did this by elevating the status of small group leaders and ministry team representatives. Multiply leaders and raise up other voices to help bring balance.
Your goal should be 75-125-150 and then 200. At each level you have to make cultural shifts that challenge the previous level.
Pastors remember... You have to be willing to change, stop blaming and make these shifts first in your own life.