Saturday, July 19, 2008

Types of Churches

Churches can be divided into all kinds of different categories, but I am thinking of two in particular: Community churches and Metropolitan churches.

I define a community church as one that is made up largely of people in a particular community. It is not a place where people will drive thirty minutes to get to, and it does not have much visibility outside its particular community. It will have fewer ministries and a more family atmosphere. It will (or at least should) more closely reflect the makeup of its immediate surrounding neighborhood. It would be perhaps the equivalent of the Mom & Pop drugstore or hardware store. Often people will go because it is the closest, or because they have some particular ties there.

A metropolitan church, on the other hand,  is a church that draws from a number of surrounding communities. It is typically a larger church, and people might drive as much as an hour to get there. It will typically  have more diversified ministries, and people will not know a great number of people in the church. It is more like a "big-box store" though I intend no prejudice with that designation. People will drive past other smaller churches closer to their homes in order to go to a metropolitan church, and they will have various reasons for doing so.

Of course, I imagine that these distinctions will be less noticeable in a rural context, and more noticeable in an urban context.

I wonder if these categories are helpful (or need to be refined) and if one would pastor these kinds of churches differently.

1 comment:

Don Johnson said...

Hi Larry...

Well, the atmosphere of our church is like your community church category and we have people driving from an hour a way, some from different directions.

So not sure what that makes us!

We are of course in an area where there is very little in the way of fundamentalist churches, so those who want a truly conservative Bible preaching church are going to have to often drive some to find one.


Don Johnson
Jer 33.3