Overview of Church Size Theory

This handout provides a brief overview of church size theory that can be used by lay leaders or clergy to explain how church size effects the culture of a congregation: its norms and expectations, structure and governance. Church size theory is helpful when a congregation is experiencing a change in size and/or when it is in transition and looking for a new rector.

The handout consists of the following:

  • A brief description of size types and their characteristics.
  • A series of scales intended to help you identify how church size relates to congregational focus, the role of the rector, the role of the vestry, decision making, change, and tone of conflict.
  • Discussion questions on how this applies or does not apply to your congregation.

A companion PowerPoint presentation that provides additional information can also be found below. If you are interested in reading more about church size theory, you will also find a bibliography of resources.

Overview of Church Size Theory

PowerPoint Presentation on Church Size Theory

PDF of Presentation on Church Size Theory

Bibliography of Resources on Church Size Theory