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Dr. G. & Friends  |  


There are many factors that influence Christian education programming in congregations.

Two of those factors are staff leadership and church size.

While we may desire otherwise the fact is that congregations are highly dependent on program staff for leadership, development, and the effectiveness of educational programs.

And often, educational program leaders are the last staff hired (the typical order of staff hires are: pastor, musician, part-time youth/children staff, full-time youth/children staff, then, an educator).

This means that any educator who is the first full-time program staff person in a congregation likely has to deal with years of neglect in the area of church-wide educational programming.

The second factor that influences congregational education is the size of a congregation.

Below are general characteristics related to how the size of a congregation affects educational programming:


The Family Size Church (20 to 75 members)


The Pastoral Size Church (50 – 150 members)


The Program Size Church (150 – 350 members)


The Corporate Size Church (300 – 500 members)

For more on how congregational size affects education, leadership, and other factors, see Israel Galindo, The Hidden Lives of Congregations.

Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. He directs the Pastoral Excellence Program at Columbia seminary. He is the author of the bestseller, The Hidden Lives of Congregations (Alban), Perspectives on Congregational Leadership (Educational Consultants), and A Family Genogram Workbook (Educational Consultants), with Elaine Boomer & Don Reagan, and Leadership in Ministry: Bowen Theory in the Congregational Context.

His books on education include Mastering the Art of Instruction,The Craft of Christian Teaching (Judson), How to be the Best Christian Study Group Leader (Judson), and Planning for Christian Education Formation (Chalice Press).

Galindo contributes to the Wabash Center’s blog for theological school deans and to its teaching and learning blogs.

Dr. G. & Friends