Characteristic Patterns in Three Kinds of USA Churches:
The Family Chaplain Base Design Church (CBD)
1. Size: Worship attendance of less than 100.
2. Priority: focus on relationships over performance quality. (Quality relationships)
____ % of young families are attracted to this church. (1994)
3. Pastoring: Small church attenders expect close personal relationships with the pastor and his or her family. There is the desire for the pastor to spend his/her free time visiting in the homes of members on a regular basis.
4. Personnel: Rely heavily on lay volunteers for getting things done.
5. Programming Small church attenders expect minimal programming, often consisting of worship, Sunday school, choir, youth activities, and a women’s organization. (Basics)
6. Participation: Small church attenders expect everyone to participate in every gathering. Every absent member is a matter of concern, because a small church is in the individual caring business. Because it is small, it is obvious whenever someone is missing and members will contact those absent.
7. Procedures: Small church attenders expect their high involvement levels to give them strong ownership and control of decision-making procedures. Thus, the governing body meetings in small churches often have the emotional “feel” of a town hall gathering in a small New England village.
8. Property: Small church attenders expect people to treat the church building as they do their own home, with carefully followed traditions for room use, turning off the lights, and tidiness.
9. Pastoral Staff: One pastor who does it all.
10. Planning and Preparation: Minimal activities require little advance planning, usually less than 12 months in advance. Often changes can be made at the last minute.
11. System Model & Response to conflict: The model for the small church is the FAMILY. There may be lots of conflict and pain, but you don’t leave because this is your family. You accept unpleasant people because they are family. “You just have to understand Uncle Fred…”
12. Leadership & Decisions: Decisions are made by influential laypeople who function as matriarch or patriarch of the church family. The pastor has little direct influence.
Question: Whose side are you on? (personalities)
13. Delegation & Supervision: Everybody knows everybody else’s business, and everyone puts their two cents in. This is not interference, but just being helpful.
If someone is not doing it right,
argue with them ’till they see the light.
CBD: 708 churches 77%; Att<100 27,041 total attendance – 810 baptisms, 1/33 attenders
Midsize 171 churches 19%; Att 27,229 total attendance – 941 baptisms, 1/29 attenders
PBD: 39 churches 4.3%; Att>300 20,161 total attendance – 611 baptisms, 1/33 attenders (IGRC Journal Yearbook 2006)
NOTE (my response)
All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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