so i got another email from my friend,  nelson,  today.   he was talking about the nine barriers that keep a church from growing.   here’s how he started:

The first, most common Growth Barrier that every church faces is….


I can hear some of you right now… Space?  Is it really that simple?

Think about it – If you don’t have enough space for new people in your church’s worship center, then it’s going to be tough to keep growing.

The question becomes, how full is “too full?”

Well, in coaching over 800 senior pastors in all sorts of states, styles and settings, I’ve found that when a room is 70% full, it’s full!

A room that is 70% full feels full – think about the last time you visited a movie theater…

And when it comes to your church, when the room is full people:

  • Stop inviting friends
  • Stop talking to guests
  • Stop attending regularly

So, is space a barrier to your church’s growth?

What is 70% of your maximum seating capacity?

Here are a couple of questions to think about when it comes to the Space barrier:

  • What if twice as many people showed up to your church on Sunday?
  • What would  you have to do to accommodate twice as many people?

those last two questions got me thinking.   what would we do?  if twice as many people showed up in our first service, we would have room for them to sit.   if they came to the second hour,  it would be a disaster.

i’m  curious.   do you really believe that the reason we don’t have more people joining us is because our space on sunday mornings in our building is too crowded?

what about in our tuesday night bowling league…is there room for more?   is there more room for people to join when we serve people in our community?  would there be room for new people at our building if someone started a monday night bible study or a friday night support group?  can we buy more tickets for a ranger game or make more room for people on swim night?   what about the space around your dining room table or around the barbecue in your backyard for a group that meets at your house?

is there room in god’s economy for a church family that doesn’t define itself by the size of it’s sunday morning gathering?


2 thoughts on “Space

  1. I’m floored by the idea that God might be thwarted by a lack of seating capacity….

    That sounds like a very small kind of a god to me.

    I think it’s a bit more likely that we are very small people, and thus have an insane need to feel in control of things – like chairs – so that when they are filled, we can feel like we had some sort of hand in it because we put them there. OR we feel like we need to actually be in control of God, by telling him when and how he can do things, like “ok God. you can bring the people now. don’t worry, we have chairs.”

    On kind of another note, I know i’m not particularly good at continually making room in my life for people. I too often see only the limitations I have on my time and resources. I know that attitude really needs to change. I know better.

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