Susan Beaumont at the Alban Institute is paying attention to the larger entity in their pastoral-program-corporate church typology and offers the the following:
It’s All About Complexity
Once a congregation passes into the size zone that has traditionally been labeled “corporate,” it is already a fairly complex organizational system. In his book One Size Doesn’t Fit All (Baker Books, 1999), Gary McIntosh talks about the large church as a multiple-cell organism where:
• There are too many people to know everyone.
• There are numerous groups, classes, and cells where people can become involved. In other words, the church is a congregation of congregations.
• Church leadership is representative of several groups, classes, and cells.
It is reasonable that congregations growing beyond this attendance level will experience continued growth in the number of groups, classes, and cells that make up its ministry. It is also reasonable to expect that organizational and leadership structures will adapt themselves in predictable ways to this ever-increasing complexity.
In my work as a consultant, I’ve found that five parts of a congregational system are affected by increasing complexity and must be adapted as medium-sized and large congregations grow larger. These are:
• the organizing principle that governs adaptation and decision making
• the foundational way in which growth and assimilation are managed
• the style of pastoral leadership that works effectively
• the way in which the staff team functions
• the identity and focus of the governing board
Additionally, she identifies how the above systems flow in the multi-celled church (250-400 in worship), the professional church (400-800 in worship), and the strategic church (800-1200 in worship).