Differences in Large Church vs. Small Church Revitalization

Episode #029
February 22, 2018
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Large churches are obviously different than small churches, but what are those specific differences as it relates to church revitalization? Today, we cover that and more.

Today’s Listener Question:


I just took a pastorate at a larger church than I’ve ever pastored. I’ve led revitalization at a few smaller churches (mostly under 250) in the past and am now at a church in Central Florida running 450+. What differences in revitalization might I run into in a church this size as compared to my previous churches?

Episode Highlights:

  • It may seem obvious, but not all churches are alike.
  • Revitalization funding needs to be a local mission effort.
  • Because small, declining churches can more closely see the end of their church, desperation often sets in earlier than in large churches.
  • Bigger churches aren’t always healthier, sometimes they’re just bigger.

The nine differences in large and small church revitalizations are:

  1. The resources issue: good and bad
  2. The death spiral issue
  3. The desperation factor
  4. The mindset issue
  5. The pride factor
  6. The facility issue: good and bad
  7. Smaller churches more likely to be open to acquisition
  8. The percentage of churches in need of major revitalization is not statistically different at any size
  9. The final consideration: “It depends”

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

Revitalize & Replant is sponsored by the North American Mission Board and ChurchReplanters.com. More than 10% of churches in North America are at risk of closing and the North American Mission Board is committed to reversing this trend by decreasing the death rate of existing churches while simultaneously increasing the birth rate of new churches. To learn more about what it means to become a replanting pastor or to explore resources for replanting and revitalization in your own church, visit ChurchReplanters.com.

Submit Your Question:

Do you have a question about church revitalization or replanting for us to use on the podcast? Visit the podcast page to submit your question. If we use it on the show, you’ll get a copy of Autopsy of a Deceased Church and Reclaiming Glory.