I think the longer I am in church leadership, the more I see a certain truth played out. Many churches are small because of the ego of the pastor. That may not seem right. Isn’t it the large church pastors who are known for their ego? Truly there are some who have let ego take over after arriving at a certain junction for sure. Unfortunately, they usually make headlines.
However, it takes a very secure leader and one who does not need everything to be centered on them to allow a church to grow. After a certain point, the pastor can no longer be the central figure to everyone, or the church will stay small. That point is just beyond the size of the average church. According to the Barna Research Group, the average church in America is about 90 people on any given Sunday.
Ego expects to be the one that everyone turns to or contacts when they need someone. Ego demands the attention at social functions. Ego wants to be the one chosen for the public opportunities and recognition. Ego requires others to seek him/her out for advice and direction. On the one hand, many leaders/pastor bemoan the fact that they are expected to do everything and be there for everyone, yet, on the other hand, they often are resentful when someone else is asked or called upon.
Jesus said He would build His church. Yet, since 1990 average church attendance has declined from 102. One of the main reasons may very well be the inability of the pastor’s ego to let go of being the center.
Just thinking out loud.
What are your thoughts? Is pride and ego of leaders keeping churches small?