DUNBAR NUMBER & Don’t Believe Facebook; You Only Have 150 Friends #NPR #GoodResearch

By National Public Radio, 6/5/11 Acording to “Dunbar’s Number,” human beings can maintain a network of only about 150 close friends. Most of Dunbar’s research … is based on the idea that human beings can hold only about 150 meaningful … Continue reading

BAND MEETINGS & Think You Have Lots of Friends? Nope: Science Says We’re Lucky to Have 5 #DunbarNumber

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: English sociologist Robin Dunbar has researched small group dynamics more than anyone, finding a small group of 3 to 4 friends is crucial for a healthy social life. John Wesley 250 years earlier stressed the same … Continue reading

FELLOWSHIP & How Dunbar Follows Wesley in Depicting Your Ever-widening Circles of Friends #DunbarNumber

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Robin Dunbar, the sociologist famous for depicting relationships including the “Dunbar Number,” gives us a modern version of John Wesley’s discipleship method of: band meetings (3-5 people), class meetings (12-15 close friends) and the society meeting … Continue reading

FELLOWSHIP & Why Is Robin Dunbar Killing My Church!? #DunbarNumber

by Bob Whitesel, 4/4/14 One thing Donald McGavran emphasized is that we should not be shy about applying the sciences to our study of church health and growth. And the Dunbar Number can explain why many churches plateau in size.  … Continue reading

FELLOWSHIP & Dunbar’s “Expanding Circles” of Relationships and Their Impact Upon Discipleship

Phil Brien, shares a video slide and gives a helpful overview to Dunbar’s Oxford video, stating, “Robin Dunbar is excellent in the video – makes me wish I’d had a University education. He uses simple slides to explain his theory, … Continue reading

ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR & My Guide to How Org. Size Affects Organizational Behavior, Structures & Management

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 6/29/16. To lead an organization, you must first understand how the organization “behaves” and then begin to “manage” the “organizational behavior.”  Here are comments about church organizational size, behavior and management edited together here from … Continue reading

FACILITIES & How North Point Church (Andy Stanley) Does Multiple Venues Right

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “As you may know, I advocate churches build more auditoriums of smaller size so that they can: 1) offer more culturally diverse worship options and 2) take advantage of the “Dunbar number” whereby smaller venues create … Continue reading

VENUES & Are We Dividing the Church With Separate Celebrations? Maybe so, but for a mission.

by Bob Whitesel, 6/3/15. Sometimes my students wonder if we are further dividing the church by offering separate worship celebrations based upon culture and/or aesthetics.  Let me answer this question. Sociologists tell us that people naturally break into groups of … Continue reading

MENTORING & Why having that nearby megachurch mentor you isn’t always a good idea

By Bob Whitesel July 7, 2014 I’ve noticed that newly planted churches will often approach a large church or mega-church in their area and seek to create a mentor-mentee relationship. On the surface this seems like a good idea, for … Continue reading

SUB-CONGREGATIONS & How Megachurches Are Going Small … and Why

by Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 3/29/16. Why Megachurches Go Small Larger churches often recognize what small churches might miss—there are advantages to being little. Through small groups, multisite campuses, and now microsites, those megachurches are attempting to continue … Continue reading

SUB-CONGREGATIONS & LifeWay Interviews Bob Whitesel on How Large Churches Can Reap Benefits of Smallness

When Big Goes Small: How Large Churches Are Learning From Those With Less by Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 3/29/16. …In the last five years, the typical megachurch’s main sanctuary decreased in size from 1,500 seats to a median … Continue reading