Talk to certain critics of Reformed theology, and you might think something about the doctrines of grace inhibits church growth. Talk to some proponents of Reformed theology, and you might reach the same conclusion.

We---both the pastors up front and the Christians in the pews---assign spiritual value to church size, depending on our background and perspective. We see large churches as a sure sign of God's faithfulness in some cases, and small churches as a sign of God's faithfulness in other cases. So what, really, does church size matter?

That's the question discussed in this video by pastors Kevin DeYoung, Matt Chandler, and Mark Dever. Their friendly banter touches on serious subjects, including:

  • the awesome responsibility of giving pastoral account for thousands of souls;

  • the urgent need for more ambition to see Jesus Christ change many lives; and

  • the practical nightmare of exponential church growth.


They also suggest some helpful resources, no matter your church size. If you're laboring with all your might and not seeing much fruit, you may benefit from reading about D. A. Carson's faithful father in Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor. And if you're serving in a church enjoying a season of rapid growth, you'll learn from reading Tim Keller on "Leadership and Church Size Dynamics: How Strategy Changes with Growth."

Watch the full video to learn more about the true marks of church growth and the pride that plagues Christian leaders no matter the size of their ministry.

Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. He is the author of of Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church, Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists, and co-author with John Woodbridge of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir. He earned an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an undergraduate degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University. He previously worked as an associate editor for Christianity Today magazine, co-edited Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism, and co-edits the Cultural Renewal series with Tim Keller. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Collin Hansen


Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. He is the author of of Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church, Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists, and co-author with John Woodbridge of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir. He earned an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an undergraduate degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University. He previously worked as an associate editor for Christianity Today magazine, co-edited Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism, and co-edits the Cultural Renewal series with Tim Keller. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School. You can follow him on Twitter.

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