The First Step To Breaking The 200 Barrier

The average church in America has less than 100 people. According to some research half of all churches in America have 74 people or less.

There is nothing wrong with pastoring a small church. Nothing! If that’s what God has called you to then this article is not for you. This post is for those who have a desire and potentially even feel called to pastor a church with 200 + people.

If your church attendance is below 200 there are lots of potential steps you could take, but what is the first?

You may not like this.

You may want to push back.

Are you ready?

The first step to break 200 is find a coach.


That’s not right?

That doesn’t even sound spiritual!!!

Before you pray to God for fire to rain down from heaven and nuke me, hear me out.

If you have read a bunch of books, been to a bunch of conferences, tried various methods but have not seen anything help I believe it’s because of a lack of coaching.

For whatever reason we resist coaching. We don’t like being told how to do something. Our pride gets in the way and for some silly reason we feel like we are too good to be coached.

Or maybe it’s the simple fact that we have never thought of a coach for ministry. Maybe if we called it a mentor it would sound more spiritual.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences, and read a lot of church leadership books. I love them and have grown a lot from them. But nothing has impacted my leadership more than having a coach. Nothing.

If you could, wouldn’t you want to have someone pour into your life? If you were Timothy would you resist having Paul speak into your life, or would you welcome his voice in your life?

One of the most impactful quotes I’ve heard from Chris Sonksen is, “Amateurs learn by trial and error, professionals learn by coaching.” Learning by trial or error is exhausting. One of the reasons it’s exhausting is because of the blind spots we all have. We don’t know what we don’t know. Often we run to a conference or read a book in an attempt to learn, but without coaching we often fail to implement what we learned, or we implement something that doesn’t fit what we are trying to do.

There is nothing wrong with having a desire to Shepherd your church well. There is nothing wrong with having a desire to reach people for Jesus. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t know what the first step is to get your church over a certain barrier. But you don’t have to learn by trial and error. You don’t have to struggle alone.

Pastoring a church is difficult. Why do it alone? You don’t have to. When you become a member of ChurchBOOM a part of your membership is Breaking 200. In this you will have a 9 month partnership that will walk you through what it takes to break the 200 barrier. Don’t roll your eyes. Don’t start with a no. Read the following paragraph, pray about if this is the step God wants you to take, and then do whatever He says.

You don’t know me, and that’s cool. If we could sit down for coffee here is what you would learn. I’m a normal, every day guy. 6 years ago I planted a church, I had never heard of Chris Sonksen, and I was in over my head. A year into church planting we were stuck. We would gain a family, and at the same time lose two. Our average attendance was 115 people. I started researching coaching networks. What I found is they were expensive and general. What I mean is they were geared towards general themes and not my individual challenges. I prayed and asked God to help me find a coach. I needed help and I didn’t have any options.

On year two of the church plant I went on a trip to Haiti with a bunch of pastors. One of those pastors was Chris Sonksen. After the trip he called me to see if I would be open to having him come and coach me and my team. I was very open, but we didn’t have the money. Chris said, “Don’t worry about the cost.” On his own dime he ended up coming and doing a two hour coaching session. It was life changing. From there we formed a relationship, and my church has never been the same.

Today, the church I pastor, averages 400, we are out of space, working towards our first building project, and wrestling with where to put all the people. And for every step of this journey I have a coach.

The best investment I’ve ever made was to hire a coach. I had no idea one day partner with ChurchBOOM to help coach pastors. The lessons that I’ve learned are now available for anyone who is willing to put in the work. Breaking 200 is a partnership where you will receive the tools, challenges, and insights to become the church God has birthed inside your heart. Who is ready?

Click on the link to learn more about breaking 200, or to become a member.

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