LEADERSHIP STYLES & How They Change Depending Upon the Size of the Church #chart

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  The following comparisons of leadership style changes relevant to church size, were compiled by cohort MDIVO-24 from their research for the course LEAD 600: Church Leadership, 9/28/16.

Church Size Keep at this size by… Grow out of this size by…
40 1.     Not participating in programs and ministries offered by other churches in the community.

2.     multiply the existing fellowship into another house church so as to keep the fellowship small and intimate

3.     Pastor does the work of ministry without help from others.

4.     Function solely out of desire for attendance growth.

5.     Believing a small church is limited in in reach and ability

6.     Little leadership from anyone in the congregation.

7.     The pastor is looked at as the leader and final answer to everything.

8.     let pastor make most of the decisions and lead most programs.

9.     Suppressing thoughts and feelings because everyone just wants to get along

1.     Initiating ecumenical opportunities on the community to do programs and ministries

2.     establishes new ministries, classes or groups to accommodate the growth of the fellowship.

3.     He secures the backing and participation of one key informal leader

4.     The pastor moves from allowing ministry to happen organically to program planning

5.     Delegate the work

6.     Focus efforts on being the church within the local community.

7.     Help people see their individual call in life, focusing on that passion and call.

8.     hosting brain-storming groups in which people’s voices are heard and ideas shared.

9.     Cooperating by using thoughts or feelings, and link up through honest and direct conversation

41-100 1.     Worship focus meet the needs of the people who attend regularly

2.     The pastor holds on to the need to be connected relationally to all active members

3.     micromanaging staff, refusal to delegate the “important” work.

4.     Good board that makes decisions will help to control the leadership of the church.

5.     Focus on existing attendees to maintain the feeling of family.

6.     Having only a couple sub-congregations, keeping all the growth under the pastor’s leadership.

1.     Balance between inward and outward focuses

2.     The pastor hiring additional ministry staff.

3.     creating boundaries for leaders to operate within, empower them to do their job, and hold them accountable

4.     Develop formal organizational structure and roles within the church leadership.

5.     pastors and teachers need to be given responsibility authority

6.     Multiple pastors (at least 2)

7.     Ability to organize the church and the allowance of growth in the ministries available.

8.     Research where hope is lacking within the community and begin offering hope to those in pain.

9.     Becoming less afraid of sub-congregations; offering as many as we can

101-175 1.     Continuing to support small groups as home groups who do not reach to non-churchgoers or new church attendees.

2.     Allowing anyone who has a desire to preach or teach to do so.

1.     “missionalize small groups” with an Up-In-Out balance

2.     Establish preachers or teachers who have the knowledge and skill set to do so.

3.     Raise the quality of communication

176-225 1.     Not training lay leaders that are equipped to teach and lead small groups/other ministries in the church. 2.     pastors and teachers must be missionally motivated to reach beyond the four walls

3.     form small home fellowship groups to prepare the unchurched for corporate gatherings.

4.     Training more leaders and empowering them to lead others just as the pastor would do.

226-450 1.     Not using past experience as catalyst to moving to the next level.

2.     Not learning from others who have gone to this level prior to you.

3.     failing to cast a vision for the next phase of ministry

4.     working solely to maintain what is already achieved.

5.     Viewing small groups as a peripheral ministry.

6.     Relying on staff and administration to do all of the work.

1.     Form some initial insights into what you’ve been doing and why that works. Implement a stronger, fuller version

2.     have a complete understanding of the ministry as a whole

3.     strategically think about next steps

4.     prioritize what actions are most vital for future success.

5.     Making small groups a foundational/core ministry that provides people with the fellowship, accountability and care

6.     Multiplying lay leaders into more leaders, and pastoral staff being a leader of leaders.

451-700 1.     Pastor’s doing all the pastoral counseling, marriage counseling, hospital visit, teaching all the classes, etc…

2.     Not encouraging volunteer run ministries.

3.     Under-developing a mission and vision that filter ministries, events and activities suggested by staff and congregants


1.     Allowing the basic pastoral ministry to be done by lay leaders

2.     Utilizing the pastor as a vision setter

3.     Clearly defining who the church is, what the church is all about and how it believes it can most effectively reach


700+ 1.     Keeping churches isolated from each other in the denomination. 1.     Plant churches, no matter how small the home church is.

2.     Preach and teach that no church is too small to start another church.