“Mark” is a quiet guy. He’s the soft-spoken, gentle-spirited kind. A loving husband and a stay-at-home dad to two beautiful girls. However, Mark has decided that our home group is too big. He feels as though his personality can’t overcome the size of the group and the inability to input an opinion. You’re probably thinking, how big is this group, anyway? 30? 40?
So, am I disheartened or bitter because Mark and his family are leaving? “Suck it up, man! Step up and say something! Don’t be shy!” No, I’m not. Because I realize that he may actually be right.
There are many studies and opinions on the perfect size for a small group or house church. Many say that 20 is pushing the limits of intimacy and participation. Geoff Surratt says that groups should be “big enough to dare, but small enough to care.” But what is that magic number (if there is one)?
But, just like God’s timing, his math is perfect, too. There is no magic number, only the perfect combination of elements that only God can develop within a group.
So, I guess what I take away from it is that what’s right in one scenario is definitely not right for every scenario. I don’t think we’re ready to “birthe” a new group just yet. I don’t think we’ve reached that point where we’re suited to send some of our group out to grow into a group of their own. We’re still figuring out how to do what we’re already doing, much less equip and send out new leaders. But we do need to consider whether or not we should try and grow before we are ready to “give birth.” And we need to be prepared for when God calls part of our membership to take on leadership of their own and be supportive of that.
Perhaps, we’ve reached our critical mass already, but God has bigger plans for our little group.
And to Mark’s family… we love you! We support your decision! And we hope that we will be as sensitive to God’s will for our group as you have been for your own needs.