Why the Size of Your Church Doesn’t Matter

Faithfulness is not a function of church size.


If you know me, you know I think it’s important to know the growth trends of a church and the community it’s trying to reach. Here, though, are some of my thoughts about why the size of your church does not matter:

  1. You’re called to be faithful, regardless of church size. Whether you pastor a church of 10 or 10,000, God expects you to be faithful to walk with Him and do His work. Faithfulness is not a function of church size.
  2. Reaching one person or hundreds of persons for Jesus makes an eternal difference. A single lost person who becomes a follower of Jesus has been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God’s Son (Col. 1:13). That matters, even if your church is small.
  3. Your fundamental tasks are always the same. Preach the Word. Do evangelism. Make disciples. Get the gospel to the nations. Those responsibilities don’t change according to church size.
  4. The size of your congregation is not a reflection of your value in God’s kingdom. Christ died for you long before God called you to lead His church. He loved you while you were yet a sinner. And, you’re now just a saved sinner, regardless of your church size.
  5. The people who are most impressed by the size of your church are often people whose opinion doesn’t matter much. Frequently, the people who are most impressed with church size miss the point. They equate “bigness” with prestige, popularity and ability, but strong, less-impressed believers will be more concerned that you’re faithfully following God.
  6. The size of your church is not an indication of the depth of your walk with God. I’ve known great Christ followers leading small churches and large churches; and, I’ve sadly known leaders of churches of all sizes who fell morally. Congregational size is not a good measure of your walk with God, despite what some may think.
  7. Every church can make a difference. My first church had 19 people in attendance on my first Sunday with them. Over the next two years, though, these few people reached dozens of people in our community. At least two of the 19 are now preaching the Word. This church made a difference, despite its original low number in attendance.

So, there are my first thoughts. Come back to this site on Monday, when I’ll address the other side of the coin: why church size does matter.

This article originally appeared here.

Chuck Lawless is professor and senior associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as a pastor for almost twenty years, and is the author of Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Truth for Victory, Discipled Warriors: Healthy Churches Winning Spiritual Warfare, Making Disciples through Mentoring, Serving in Your Church's Prayer Ministry, and Eating the Elephant. Dr. Lawless speaks extensively around the countryYou can read articles from Dr. Chuck Lawless on his personal blog (ChuckLawless.com) ( or connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook. .