May 31, 2016 Tony Morgan

Helping Small, Mid Size, Large and Very Large Churches Get Unstuck


I’m going to forewarn you that several of you probably aren’t going to like this series of articles.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to unpack my perspective on why churches of different sizes get stuck. I’ve developed articles that address small, mid-size, large and very large churches.

The reason why several of you won’t like this series is because The Unstuck Group wants to help churches get healthy and grow. The fact that I’m going to write about strategies to help grow your church, though, will certainly offend some people. I know the whole concept of “church growth” rubs some people wrong. I’m willing to take that chance, though, because I really do want healthy churches to continue growing to reach more people for Jesus.

(Though it may be politically incorrect it admit it, I’m trusting that deep down you want the same thing. We’ll just keep that secret between you and me.)

With that, we’re going to work with the assumption that if you’re following our content, you probably want your church to be healthy and grow as well. If that concept offends you, I’d encourage you to find someone else to follow. You probably won’t enjoy this series or, for that matter, much of the other content we offer. By the way, you’re not going to change my mind, so don’t waste your time.

We like to focus on both health and growth.

It’s possible to grow a church that’s not healthy. It’s also possible for healthy churches to get stuck.

The win is for there to be both health and growth. When that happens, we get to celebrate as churches continue to fulfill the Great Commission and make more disciples.

The second reason you’re probably not going to like these articles is that I’m going to put churches into categories based on their average attendance. Anytime you do that, of course, someone is going to try to suggest that I think certain size churches are somehow better than other size churches. In reality that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Again, I want all churches, regardless of their size, to be healthy and experience growth.

My purpose for putting churches in these categories is to help you determine what your priority focus needs to look like. All churches are not equal. Different churches wrestle with different issues, and many times those challenges are a reflection of the church’s size. These are tendencies. Not all churches in these four categories will be impacted by all the factors that I highlight.

Let me give you one example:

“Systems” are a big deal for large churches. When churches are smaller, systems are important, too. They’re not as important as for larger churches, though, because everyone tends to know everyone. More happens through relationships and word-of-mouth communications. As churches grow larger, it’s impossible for everyone to know everyone. These churches have to establish healthy systems in order to help people take their next steps.

In other words, systems may be an issue in small or mid-size churches, but they may not necessarily limit health and growth at that stage. On the other hand, lack of systems will certainly become an issue that limits the health and growth of a large church.

That’s my preview of the series that will follow. If you’re willing to give me the latitude to share strategies for helping your church experience health and growth based on your current size, I think this series may be very useful for you and your ministry team.

Stay tuned. The fun is about to begin.

UPDATE: Here are links to all four articles in this series.

7 Reasons Small Churches Get Stuck

7 Reasons Mid Size Churches Get Stuck

7 Reasons Why Large Churches Get Stuck

7 Reasons Why Very Large Churches Get Stuck


Photo Credit: Louis Moncouyoux via Unsplash CC0

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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Founder and Lead Strategist of The Unstuck Group. Started in 2009, The Unstuck Group has served 500 churches throughout the United States and several countries around the world. Previously, Tony served on the senior leadership teams of three rapidly growing churches including NewSpring Church in South Carolina. He has five published books including, The Unstuck Church, and, with Amy Anderson, he hosts The Unstuck Church Podcast which has thousands of listeners each month.
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