Getting Bigger

Bible Study

He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail – even numbering the hairs on your head.                                            

Matthew 10: 30

Advantages – Practical Mission

  • It becomes easier to find volunteers for key posts, because the pool of people is greater and circuit roles have more “meat” to them, encouraging more able people to volunteer.
     
  • Administration can be rationalised to avoid duplication and reduce the time taken.  It becomes more practical to employ a manager or administrator with the appropriate skills.
     
  • Mission work can draw on more people, with a wider selection of skills, and there is the potential to find people with a great depth of knowledge and experience to help.
     
  • A greater space between churches and the circuit increases church autonomy, while enabling the wider circuit to step back from many activities in order to better explore and discern the value of what is happening, and support where it is most needed.
     
  • Big developments can be encouraged without compromising smaller activities.  Big developments will not sap all the energy, and more things can be done at the same time.
     
  • Large gatherings for fellowship and outreach can be held. 
     
  • Ministers, lay staff and volunteers can work in larger teams offering much greater levels of support and encouragement.
  • Stationing becomes easier, and the larger budget is more likely to stretch for extra staff.
     
  • Specialist groups can meet in larger numbers, helping stability and enabling more exciting activities (i.e. World Church groups).
     
  • We can look at the world, and its mission opportunities, in new ways and with new horizons.
     
  • Starting from scratch can mean spending less time running the church, and more time being the church.
     
  • Doing something new and different can be exciting and reinvigorating.
  • If you ask the same questions, you will get the same answers!

So how big?

We reckon that the smallest unit that can function properly has around four ministers.  Large circuits start to lose their advantage when they have around nine ministers.

Counting ministers is not an ideal way of judging circuit size, but it does seem reliable.

This can be a starting point, but your own local context must be allowed for.

But not too big!

If a circuit is too big, it will start to divide up into smaller groupings: some of the gains will be lost, and fresh problems can emerge.

 

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