I’m geeked that my conference’s bishop, William Willimon, is now a Weblogger. He writes in a recent entry that the key to church growth is to start new congregations:
After decades of thrashing around for a quick-fix to our church decline problems, after all of the blaming and finger pointing, we now have a sure-fire, documented means of reversing our membership decline â€“ the establishment of new congregations!
If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, he discusses what he calls the Law of 150, which notes that the maximum number of relationships that the average person can track at one time is 150. He mentions religious communes of one of the offshoots of the Mennonites—I can’t remember the name—do a split when they get close to 150, breaking in half and starting two new communes. Gladwell also references the father of Methodism himself, John Wesley, and talks about how Wesley’s itinerancy and focus on small organizations made Methodism so strong in America.
And you wonder why I’m worried about a megachurch? Stuff like this is why. [More later.]