More Thoughts on Church Growth


Tx_trojans2_allOk, I found the analogy and the brain behind it.

Larry Osborne is the author of a book called, “The Unity Factor.” In it he says that, as a church goes along the continuum of size it goes from a decathlete (the lead pastor)—where the pastor does ten events (preaching, teaching, youth, returning emails, cutting the grass, hospitals, weddings, etc.).

Next it moves to a golfing foursome. A couple of buddies are with the lead guy now and their meetings are informal—more like buddies hanging out—no formal notes, accountability is easy…

Then it becomes like a basketball game and the lead guy sets up all the plays. Every time down the court, he’s touching the ball “You go here, you go there, you do this…”).

Well then it becomes like a football game. In a football game you have different coaches. Offence, defense, special teams, general manager. The special teams actually have teams within teams (kink off return team, punt return team, field goal) that don’t even practice together. They are on the field at different times with slightly different aspects to their uniforms. The kicker gets one little bar and the linemen don’t even take him seriously, right?

I mean, just really different specializations, and at this time it’s not a generalist. You don’t come to the time to punt and hear everyone taking a vote, “Hey, who wants to punt this time?”

No way, you have a punter and that’s all he does!

It’s not, “Ok, we’re going to go on offence now, who wants to be quarterback?”

Again, not a chance. Everyone knows who the QB is and he runs the offence.

And the larger the church becomes the more it moves form decathlete to golfing foursome to basketball to football team. And, within that, if you are a lead guy who likes to do everything, your church won’t get over 80 people. If you love golf you might get to 120 or maybe even 200–-basketball, maybe 300 – 500. After 800, you’re playing football, period. Ns you had better accept the complexity of a football team.

Now, easy to say, right?

But what happens when people who came in when it was a golfing foursome don’t want to see things change?

Well, that’s another discussion we’ll have to save for tomorrow.