Four Different Groups in Your Church

Weekend Musings

Pastor's ForumThis post idea does not originate with me. I am picking up on the thought of Chuck Musselwhite, a Calvary Chapel pastor in Santa Barbara, California. It was part of a Church Planting Roundtable on LinkedIn. The post was a kind of  “agree/disagree and comment” type of question. Here’s the question Pastor Musselwhite posed: 

If there are 4 types of groups in your church;

  • Visitors,

  • Growing Disciples,

  • Mature Saints, &

  • Unengaged Consumers …

who [do] you spend the most time & $$ on?

One pastor responded almost immediately with the following:

If there were these four groups in this church (not my church but God’s), I would try to spend as much time with all four groups and would try to balance this so no one feels left out. Also, if there were any financial needs within these groups I would weigh the need over the desired amount and try to support the need at least.

Lead Pastor at The Village Chapel, Church Planter, Speaker, and Coach, Chuck Musselwhite responded with:

I think there is a danger in trying to minister to this group with a balanced approach. For instance mature saints don’t need nor desire all the time that a growing disciple might need. Also a unengaged consumer might want to drain you of time that you could be spending with visitors who are checking the church out. While we can, and should, have a heart for all of the people in our church it can be dangerous trying to be equal and balanced in our time and resources we allocate to them. I have several unengaged consumers who want to go out to lunch and have coffee with me all the time. This can be a drain on my resources and leave me little to minister to everyone else. I now make it a priority to minister to the growing disciple first, then the visitor, and finally the other two groups.

I think the first pastor is dead wrong and that pastor Musselwhite is spot on.

In fact, I would go one step further. As a pastor and elder of the church, it is my duty and responsibility to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry” (Ephesains 4:10-12). I will always invest the greater part of my time in training and equipping saints for this work. This is what discipleship is all about. It is not my  job to be everywhere, for everyone, at all times. It is my job, an elder’s job (which is what a pastor is) to equip the saints to minister to one another.


  • What group are you in?
  • What group does Jesus want you to be in?
  • How will you get there?

One thought on “Four Different Groups in Your Church

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