Does Church Size Matter?

From The Gospel Coalition:

Talk to certain critics of Reformed theology, and you might think something about the doctrines of grace inhibits church growth. Talk to some proponents of Reformed theology, and you might reach the same conclusion.

We—both the pastors up front and the Christians in the pews—assign spiritual value to church size, depending on our background and perspective. We see large churches as a sure sign of God’s faithfulness in some cases, and small churches as a sign of God’s faithfulness in other cases. So what, really, does church size matter?

That’s the question discussed in this video by pastors Kevin DeYoung, Matt Chandler, and Mark Dever. Their friendly banter touches on serious subjects, including:

  • the awesome responsibility of giving pastoral account for thousands of souls;
  • the urgent need for more ambition to see Jesus Christ change many lives; and
  • the practical nightmare of exponential church growth.

They also suggest some helpful resources, no matter your church size. If you’re laboring with all your might and not seeing much fruit, you may benefit from reading about D. A. Carson’s faithful father in Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor. And if you’re serving in a church enjoying a season of rapid growth, you’ll learn from reading Tim Keller on “Leadership and Church Size Dynamics: How Strategy Changes with Growth.”


Watch the full video to learn more about the true marks of church growth and the pride that plagues Christian leaders no matter the size of their ministry.


Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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