Why You Don’t Have to Be Afraid of the 200 Barrier (Podcast)

One Thing RightIs your church struggling to break through the 200 barrier?

The 100 barrier?

The 50 barrier?

Have you ever considered that those numbers may not be barriers at all? If you’re struggling to grow past a certain number, it may not be a problem. It may be God’s way of telling you he wants you to pastor this size of church really well.

In this podcast, with Jeff and Jonny from 200Churches.com, we talk about the content of my post, The Surprising Reason 80% of Churches Will Never Break the 200 Barrier. As it turns out, the main reason for me is that I stink at pastoring a big church. My church grew to almost 400 and I ended up spending most of my time doing things I don’t like and am very bad at, which caused the church to shrink to smaller than it was before the growth started.

In addition to talking about our attempts and failures in church growth and our lingering frustrations with it, we also offer some hope, by discussing what it means finally discover and thrive in our ministry sweet spot. 

Some of the subjects we touch on get very personal. They include

  • Jeff wanting to answer the question “why are you a Small Church pastor?” with “because I’m a failure! That’s why!”
  • What to do when your church isn’t as big as it used to be
  • How to know whether to stay or leave when you face ministry limitations and failures
  • Why the phrase “200 Barrier” causes more problems than it solves
  • and more

Click on the 200Churches logo, or the blog post title to go to 200Churches.com and listen to the podcast.

Today’s Podcast 

200Churches logoWhy You Don’t Have to Be Afraid of the 200 Barrier (Podcast)

In today’s podcast we talk about where the term “200 Barrier” comes from and why 200 (or 100, or 50) isn’t even a barrier to be broken through after all. We also discuss how our obsession with numerical growth has caused many pastors to elevate the ministry gifts of others, while despising our own. But there’s hope too, since we discuss how we can gain freedom over that. (Episode 73 – 36:09 total run time. The interview runs from 5:30 to 30:30 making it about 25 minutes.)



So what do you think? Have you struggled with your own insecurities regarding church growth?

We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
Enter your comment right below this post and get in on the conversation.

(One Thing Right photo from Lord Jim • Flickr • Creative Commons license)

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2 thoughts on “Why You Don’t Have to Be Afraid of the 200 Barrier (Podcast)”

  1. For me, and as I see it functioning systemically in churches by the tens of thousands, I’ve chosen 50 as a barrier as time to fully reproduce into two networked fellowships. So many fundamental God designed functions fail over 50. Over 100 and beyond it all gets worse. It can look pleasing to the eye of man revelation does not back it up.

    1. Over 50 you need a special building and at least a part time person so now the saints are consuming a large portion of their “giving” to buy these things. Under 50 and 100% of the giving can go beyond the givers. This is highly strategic. Paul passionately taught “ministry free of charge” and “refusing the right” to pay for leaders. There is no need to go beyond 50 and throw all this out the door.
    2. Over 50 there is less “one another” participation, and then zero “one another” participation as the gathering grows. I will not throw out or marginalize these 58 instructions for God’s people. I see no instruction for one-way communication. I will not “forsake the assembly” God designed in Heb 10: 24,25 and the “new and living way” Christ died to pay for. (All of Hebrews 10)
    3. Over 50, full leadership function is no longer reproducible to a workplace minister. It’s too cumbersome, complicated and hectic. I will not give up “fully training” my students to “be like me”. Luke 6:40. I will not be weak in the grace of Christ Jesus and not “entrust to faithful men who will teach others also”. 2 Tim. 2:1, 2. This is gone over 50.
    4. Over 50 the teaching will gravitate to lecture which is boring for children (and adults) and is sensitive to distraction so the children will most often be sent away to another room. What a horrible thing to do for those whom Jesus said “for of such is the kingdom of God”.

    There is so much to throw out over 50 that God has asked for. I can’t think of anything in over 50 that is worth throwing out what God specifically asks for. When it comes to eternal rewards for doing what God asks for, I cringe at the wood, hay and stubble American believers are producing. What a loss for eternity!!!

    I know this is a hard sell for the American tradition, but it’s an investment with an eternal pay off. Put your objection to this on the line here and let it be tested with God’s Word. I know you justify your practices with the Bible but I say they are all twisted with false hermeneutic.

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