I'm in classes every day for the next 2 weeks at DTS. I fully intended to have blog entries queued up and ready to go for the week, but didn't get them done. So, I decided that I'd post a couple of gleanings/learnings/questions from my classes every night in random form. (I may interact with them and may just post them as they are to let you interact). We'll see how it goes.

Today, most of the day was an introduction to the class. But one statement caught my attention.

This statement was made today: "If you have more than 10 people on a committee, you ensure that major decisions will always be made outside the committee."

The statement in its context applied to boards, sub-committees, staff teams, and any other place committees are found.

On its face, I'm inclined to agree with the statement. I've been a part of several elder boards and committees in my life. When they get bigger than 10ish, the real decisions usually get made either (1) during the pre-meeting in which the agenda is established, or (2) during the meeting after the meeting that takes place in the parking lot where alliances are formed.

Some pastors opt for really big elder/deacon boards for this very reason: they give the pastor more power. The bigger the team, the more the confusion. The more confusion, the more freedom the pastor has to simply get things done.

There's at least one down side though: when the group is small, every person wields quite a bit of power. One "bad apple" can stall progress, lead the group astray, or distract the group from something that is really important. The smaller the group, the more emphasis has to be placed on selecting and training the right people.

So, what do you think? Do you agree with the original statement? If so, or if not, what's the optimum size of a decision-making group?