SCROLL DOWN and read all the posts leading up to this one. But make sure you read the TEXT.
Have you read the Fifth chapter in The Tipping Point? The one with "The rule of 150". The book is a secular book. But the writer of Tipping Point asks the question – Why did John Wesley change the world is a way that George Whitfield didn't? Even though Whitfield was more famous in his day, and apparently a better preacher?
The answer, according to The Tipping Point, is this: he started smaller churches wherever he went. No more than 150 in one grouping. And then kept on 'planting'. 150, the book maintains, is a size that cultivates trust and community.
Armies know this. How do you get men to fight with each other and to trust each other? And to utilize gifts? Answer: Group them in groups of 100, and not many more. (They have centurions etc.)
Gore-tex – the coat manufacture takes this perspective. Every factory they have, (and there are 45 Plants worldwide) apparently has only 150 employees. They do this so that you do not have to have 'department heads'. Instead, you have relationships and trust. And do you know how they make sure it’s only 150? -- Make the car park fit only 150 cars! So then you are forced to start a new one factory. Shrewd.
Of course, not every company runs this way, nor necessarily needs to. That’s not The Tipping Point’s point. And I’m not saying that a church should only be 150. We at Christ Church NYC are a touch more than 150. But at least a book like this helps us here in Manhattan to ask the right questions. Not, 'are we big'? But 'is our size optimal for maturity and accountability and touching and transforming more lives for Christ?' What are we aiming for? And what is our 'car park' to make us plant more churches?
I am very keen for comments from readers on this one. Is OSO a reader?
… the people of the world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the people of the light.An example of a shrewd church in coming in just a few hours... (When I'm back from IVCF [EU] at NYU. Pray for them will you? Great people. A few of them have joined Christ Church, and we are excited about their lives).