On the last post, I discussed how a pastor can be certain he is regularly shepherding everyone in his church. In it I explained a system to pray and contact every member of the church in one month. This is based on the shepherding efforts of a smaller church, so naturally I can anticipate the question,
“That’s great, but what about those who pastor at a larger church?”
Well, the quick answer to this question of how can I accomplish this at a larger church is–you can’t. At least, not by yourself. Others must shepherd with you. However, after spending time serving on staff at two different churches each with over 1,500 members, I am convinced each member can still be cared for, known, and prayed for individually by the pastors and leaders as well as contacted in some way each month.
The 28 day chart I proposed previously I feel can be done with the ratio of 1:100. One pastor/elder/staff to every 100 members of the church. That breaks down to less than 5 people or families a day that need to be prayed for and contacted. So, if you find yourself in a 500 member church, you only need 5 shepherds who are willing to put in about 30 minutes a day to accomplish this. If you find yourself in a 1,200 member church, you only need 12 shepherds to pray and contact every member of the church.
Remember, you will not simply stumble into this kind of deliberate effort, especially in a large church. In fact, you may need to reconfigure the way your staff is set up and operates. But if you will make the commitment and believe it is possible to shepherd every member of the church to some degree on a regular basis regardless the size, your joy will increase and your people’s souls will feel more faithfully cared for by their leaders (Heb. 13:17).
Pastors, I don’t believe we will be excused from our calling to give an account for every soul (Heb. 13:17) just because of the size of our church. Ask God to give you grace and discernment on how this can get accomplished in your church through utilizing your pastors, deacons, staff and other leaders. God will honor your effort to be faithful in this regard.