When 200 Seems Huge: Five Reasons Churches of 200 Are Considered Small

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If you pastor a church of fewer than 50 people, the fact that I refer to a church of 200 as small may surprise you.

I’ve pastored in big cities and small towns. I’ve been “stuck” at 20, 50, 75, 120 and 200 for significant periods of time.

But I still consider 200 to be a small church. No matter how many people live in the community. Here are five reasons why:

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3 thoughts on “When 200 Seems Huge: Five Reasons Churches of 200 Are Considered Small”

  1. Karl,

    I think you could have legitimately avoided much of the backlash you have described here by simply avoiding the stigmatizing term “small.” If you’ve discovered that church dynamics change significantly at the 200 threshold, why not just say this without injecting the notion that anything less is a “small” church. Elsewhere you have admitted to how painfully stigmatizing that term had been in your past. Why provoke such reactions by using such a term to describe this threshold? What is to be gained, really? –Dave

    1. I get what you’re saying Dave. But part of my mission is to remove the stigma from the word “small.” It’s not a bad word. And it’s an accurate one. Small doesn’t have to mean “less than” if we refuse to see it that way.

  2. Karl – Great article, again! I have had this conversation with several lately. It is about the relationships. Just had a family show interest in our church who feel they are lost in the crowd where they have been attending. They spoke about no access to the pastor, etc. Any gifts or talents they have are lost, too. There is no room. They came to us hoping that things will be different. It is our desire as well to know those who come to our church. We don’t want to be a distant spiritual guide! Your articles continue to encourage me, and I am passing them on! Looking forward to the next one!



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