Does Size really Matter?

Even pastors fall prey to this age old lie. I recently read an article by Dave Ferguson entitled ‘Winning at any size’ in Outreach Magazine.  I have to be honest I would have blown right past the article except the the opening line of the article was:

 “being a baseball fan all my life”

Well right there he had me hooked so I had to read the article.  Ferguson went on to discuss a study by Economics professor Michael C. Davis regarding the correlation between winning baseball teams and attendance.  I know, exciting stuff – right?!.

Davis’ study concluded that high attendance will not produce a winning ball team, but rather a winning team will produce high attendance.  WOW! I hope we didn’t use a lot of Government funding to discover that little gem!

But to the point was Ferguson’s idea that we (as churches) have to stop trying to grow our attendance – see where this going . . .

We need to focus on changing lives – Methodists use the phrase ‘creating disciples to transform the world.’  This thought has come home to me the past few weeks, as I have gathered stories of transformed lives from churches I have served as pastor.

It seems for all that was done to attempt to attract people and draw them into the church – the one thing that was never accounted for was all the transformed lives within the congregation.  It was (in the final analysis) these changed lives that drew others in.

Lesson: If you want to grow a church, focus on people. Changing lives one at a time will do more to grow your church than any effort to market or advertise. In other words, build a winning team and the fans will follow.

Been helping to transform anyone lately?


I am a United Methodist Pastor and have the privilege of serving as the Senior Pastor for the church of my childhood. I preach in a place I once was an acolyte. I love to preach, but more importantly I love to teach. I firmly believe that Faith Matters and should affect how we live. This blog is a place where I come to share the randomness that is life and faith ... and the intersection of the two.

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