Breaking 200 Notes

breaking 200Carey Nieuwhof, the founding and teaching pastor of Connexus Church north of Toronto Canada, led an Affinity Group (basically a breakout group with a lot of discussion) at ReThink Leadership on how can your church break the 200 person threshold. Here are my notes from that session.


90% of Churches can’t get past 200

The reasons churches don’t grow are surprising.   And for the most part they aren’t spiritual.

You need to structure bigger to grow bigger.

Most churches behave like a mom and pop operation. You are mom and you are pop. You do everything.

3 biggest problems he had to overcome

  1. Pastoral care. As your church grows you are becoming overly busy and you can’t do all the pastoral care anymore.   You will break down trying to do it all. Small Groups is a great remedy. 98% of pastoral care is having someone who cares. It doesn’t have to be the pastor.   You need to structure care into the DNA of church. Again, small groups is a great way to scale pastoral care.
  2. Staff that do everything vs. staff that leads leaders. You know a staff can lead when they go on vacation things run better. You need a staff that lead not a staff that do
  3. People pleasing.

When “no” is your default it makes people more grateful when you say “yes”.

Volunteers are capable of more than what we think. Keep pouring into volunteers.

You have to have big picture people. If you are in the details of every decision you won’t be able to get your church over 200.

Did you hear Carey speak at ReThink Leadership? What stood out to you about his group session? Share below or on social media using #RL16 or #ymsidekick? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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