A particularly smart colleague pointed out to me – after yesterday’s post – that a Big Church is not necessary a Rich Church.
The average sized church in the PCUSA these days is (!) 187 members. Three-fourths (75 percent) have 200 or fewer members. Eight in ten (80 percent) have 250 or fewer members. More than half (53 percent) have 100 or fewer. So what is a “big church”? 250 members? 600 hundred? 1000? The Top Ten congregations have over 4000 members. So can we assume they are “rich”?
They might be rich in participation and real estate, but do they have financial resources in the bank? Maybe not.
Here’s the crazy thing: some of our largest churches don’t have the capacity to fund new endeavors. And some of our Small Churches have quite a lot of money in their endowments. It’s possible that our “richest” churches – by some definitions – are indeed the “little churches.”
An important point that Shawna Bowman made yesterday, is that small and large churches need to learn from each other. It’s true.
Capacity for ministry might involve financial capacity. Or it could be human capacity (participation). But we need . . . capacity – for ministry.
Survivalist churches don’t have any capacity for growth, spiritual development, making disciples of all nations. And many of our congregations seem to believe that we are in a zero sum game. Nope.
We have the capacity to do amazing ministry. How have we missed this?
Would you say your church is rich? Why or why not?