Westwood Church > Blog > Blog By Date > 2010 Blog > What is (and should be) the “size culture” of Westwood?

What is (and should be) the “size culture” of Westwood?

When was the last time that you thought about the size of Westwood?  Did you think about it in positive terms or negative terms?  Did you think about why you thought the way that you did?  Those are some pretty big questions, aren’t they?  Whether we look through the lens of leadership, community, participation, or mission, the size of a church (and the changes in a church as it changes sizes), is a very important factor.

Tim Keller (pictured above) has written a very insightful article called, “Becoming a Large Unified Church” that does a brilliant job of describing the various “sizes” that a church can be, and how a church needs to intentionally and strategically change how it “does church leadership” throughout those changes.  I encourage all of you to read the article and ask yourself two questions:

  1. Where do you see Westwood fitting into the various models/categories that Keller proposes?
  2. What do you think we need to do next, in continuing to develop a healthy congregational and leadership culture, in light of what Keller suggests?

What do you think?

Comments

  1. Posted By Keven Braet

    That was a very interesting article. I see Westwood in as a large church but not likely to become a hole lot larger. The key to our success is to concentrate on doing a few things very well. Children’s ministry, teaching – education and worship. I do not think we have the horses to make the jump to a church of many more then 800. Prince George is too small to allow the anonymity and turn over in the congregation that is experienced in very large churches. People who prefer a more intimate setting move to other churches. In addition the church has an ingrained history that would be hard to transition away from without alienating key people.
    Having said this, I like the size we are but we will always need to be open to trying new things or we will stagnate. Even if we continually “false start” we need to keep trying. It is in the struggle that we keep ourselves fresh. On occasion something new gets traction and more people are brought into the church.
    I found it interesting that the large church was more oriented to the committed Christian rather then the new believer. There seems to be an underlying tide of sentiment with some member that not baptizing new Christians is a sign that we are not being effective. This may not be our role as a large church and we need to recognize this. Let’s not get to uptight about the lack of new Christians and nurture our role as a place of excellence to teach and strengthen the faith of the committed Christian. As the smaller churches baptizes the new believer we can be a place of growth and knowledge for the Christian that is bored in the smaller church and is looking for a higher “quality of speaking and the transcendence of the worship experience.” On pressure Mark

  2. Posted By Jeff Paetkau

    What a fantastic article! Keller adjusted or even changed my thinking on several points. I love it when someone can do that.

    I agree with Kevin above that it will be very difficult for Westwood to get past that 800 barrier. As Kevin mentions, Prince George just doesn’t have the population to support a much larger church. Also, I have a very hard time seeing Westwood making the kind of changes Keller suggests are necessary.

    However that cannot mean we stop growing or that we turn our attention inward. Rather as Keller says,

    “Missional Focus …a church is staff-driven, the more likely it will be able to concentrate on factors which reach non-members and which don’t directly benefit its own constituents–i.e. church planting, mercy/justice ministries, constant adding new services and programs”

    and,

    “The larger the church, then, the more important to raise and train leaders from within. This means: a) staff coming from outside need thorough training in the very large church’s history, values, etc. b) Staff
    coming up from within should be supported heavily for continued theological education.”

    Those are two of many great points that I think meet Westwood exactly where we are at!

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