The last few weeks we have been celebrating that God has been doing great things among us and stirring growth in a variety of ways. Yet we have also recognized that growth brings its own set of challenges. We have been using Carey Nieuwhof’s article “7 Things That Get Harder As Your Church Grows (check out https://careynieuwhof.com/7-things-that-get-harder-as-your-church-grows/ if you want to see the entire article) as a guide to examining these growth challenges.
This week we recognize the challenge of not knowing every person by name as the church grows. I will admit that for me personally this is a difficult one. I like knowing everyone… personally… BY name. I like to know everyone’s story, what is going on in their life, what they are celebrating and what they are struggling with. And yet, the reality is, this is just not physically possible at a certain point.
As Nieuwhof comments:
People who are part of a small church panic about not knowing everyone’s name as a church grows.
Time to challenge that assumption. Why panic?
Truthfully most people don’t know everyone, even in a church of 50.
Human reality dictates we can only truly know about 5 people deeply and about 20 people well.
Which again leads to small groups and serving teams. You can (and should) organize hundreds and even thousands of people to be known in smaller circles of groups and teams.
The point of church is not for everyone to know everyone. The point is for everyone to be known…
If you’re leading a growing church, embrace that. Create a church where everyone who wants to be known…is.
You will reach far more people if you do.
I love that line, “Create a church where everyone who wants to be known… is.”
This is why small groups, Acts Network Groups, Bible studies, etc. all become so important. It is in THESE settings where we can all be known in the deep ways that we desire.
Part of my challenge is that I personally want to know everyone, but in reality it is more important that the CHURCH knows people well—at least those who want to be known. This is what will allow a church to continue to grow AND for people to be fully known.
May First Church be such a church!