Sometimes it feels like the only pastoring principle anyone has talked about for the past 30 years.
In case you haven’t heard of it, the 200 barrier is the invisible ceiling a church must break through if it doesn’t want to be a Small Church any more. Do a Google search of “breaking the 200 barrier” and you’ll see what I mean.
Despite all the books, websites, seminars, classes, DVDs and denominational committees that have been dedicated to pushing churches through this barrier, one truth stubbornly remains.
Why is that? The reasons I’ve heard, include:
- It requires a very different way of doing church
- 80% of pastors and churches are not willing to adapt
- We’re stuck in a rut
- We don’t want to move forward
- We don’t care about the Great Commission
The first point is correct. The rest are garbage. (Feel free to use a stronger term than “garbage” if your theology will allow for it).
Oh sure, there are some Small Churches that are uncaring and stuck. But there are unhealthy big churches, too.
Why I’ll Never Pastor a Big Church
To break through the 200 barrier, a church and its leadership have to adapt to a different way of doing church. They have to become more systems oriented. Pastors have to do less one-on-one ministry themselves and delegate more of it to staff members and volunteers.
That’s a good thing. As a church gets bigger, those changes will allow more people to do ministry, helping the pastor not to be a stressed-out, overworked bottleneck.
Here’s why my church will never break through the 200 barrier.
It’s the one thing none of us wants to admit. But someone needs to say it out loud.
I stink at it.