Most people who attend Church truly want to see their Church grow numerically. They understand that having new people means that more people desire a relationship with Jesus. It is very encouraging to see all the new faces, have people making decisions and feel the excitement each week.
While most people want to see this growth, they simply do not understand the cost that goes with it. Here are just a few examples:
1. More people means less open parking – Most families attend Church in 2 or 3 cars. This is because people are usually headed all different directions once Church is over. So if you add 20 new people then you have also added 10-15 new cars. Soon the parking lot fills up and the close spaces are gone quickly. It is tougher to find a spot and I may have to walk a lot farther.
2. More people means I may have to change seats each week – New people do not know where I sit each week. As a result, they may sit in the spot where I normally sit. That is also where all my friends sit. Soon I am on the other side of the auditorium and it feels weird and I feel disconnected. This is especially true of you only have relationships with people on Sunday morning. A change in seats represents the loss of friends.
3. More people might require I give more financially – New people usually do not start giving anything until after they have been attending for 3-6 months minimum. The result is that more people put a financial strain on a Church with only a couple more people giving. The Church needs more staff and more stuff to meet the needs of the growing congregation. All of that requires money. Who is going to give to make that happen?
4. More people requires more volunteers – Like giving, most new people will not serve for 6 months to a year. That means there are a lot of new people who need ministry without giving ministry. This requires some of the older members to step up and do more, maybe twice as much, to meet the needs of the group.
5. More people each week changes the dynamics with the preacher – The simple fact is that the more people a congregation has the less access everyone has to the preacher. Me, for example, I have about 300 people I am trying to minister to right now. It is very difficult to give everyone in that group the same amount of attention without killing me or burning me out. I have to lead the leaders of the Church first and that is hard for some people.
These are just a few of the dynamics that change as a church grows. The fact is that for every new face to attend a change has to be made. I once listened to a Church leader who said the reason most Churches do not grow is because the looked at the cost and said the price is too high. I pray that is never true of a Church that I lead.