It's budget time at our church and Tim Keller's words are painfully evident. Ugh.
The smaller church by its nature gives immature, outspoken,opinionated, and broken members far more power over the whole body. Since everyone knows everyone else, when a family or small group of members express strong opposition to the direction set by the pastor and leaders, that small group’s misery can hold the whole congregation hostage. If they threaten to leave, the majority of people will urge the leaders to desist in their project. It is extremely difficult to get complete consensus from a group of 50-150 people about program and direction, especially in today’s diverse, fragmented society. Yet in smaller churches there is an unwritten rule that most everyone must be happy with any new initiative in order for it to be implement. Leaders of small churches must be brave enough to lead and to confront immature members in spite of its unpleasantness.
Tim Keller, "Leadership and Church Size Dynamics"