Description : If the divine liturgy really is as beautiful as we claim, wouldn’t more people attend? Wouldn’t the church grow? Driven by our desire for growth, we count, we analyze, we make charts, and we strategize, but often with few discernible results. That is probably the result of focusing on secondary aspects of church life. As we know, the very existence of a church is a gift of God’s presence and not the result of any particular actions taken by human beings. For that reason, church is primarily about being something rather than doing or achieving something. So the growth of the church is not reflected in ever-increasing numbers, dollars, and activities, but rather in steadily growing conformity to the divine ideal. So in order to evaluate ecclesial growth, we will first have to ask what the church is supposed to be. One answer to that question is captured in the four marks of the church given in the creed: Oneness, Holiness, Catholicity, and Apostolicity. These four characteristics serve as a matrix or framework within which we can focus on the primary aspects of ecclesial being and help it grow and become what it was intended to be.
Description : The Church Growth Movement has divided devout Christians. Even though Rainer is an advocate, his aim here is to present an objective view of the movement--its history, the theology associated with it, and the principles which seem to separate churches that grow from those that don't.
Description : Gaining form and momentum over the second half of the 20th century, the Church Growth movement has become an enormous shaping force on the Western church today. You may love it, you may hate it, but you can’t deny its impact. But what exactly is Church Growth? In what ways has the movement actually brought growth to the church, and how effective has it been in doing so? What are its strengths and weaknesses? This timely book addresses such questions. After providing a richly informative history and overview, it explores—in a first-ever roundtable of their leading voices—five main perspectives, both pro and con, on the classic Church Growth movement:• Effective Evangelism View (Elmer Towns)• Gospel in Our Culture View (Craig Van Gelder)• Centrist View (Charles Van Engen)• Reformist View (Gailyn Van Rheenan)• Renewal View (Howard Snyder)As in other Counterpoints books, each view is first presented by its proponent, then critiqued by his co-contributors. The book concludes with reflections by three seasoned pastors who have grappled with the practical implications of Church Growth.The interactive and fair-minded nature of the Counterpoints format allows the reader to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed, personal conclusions.The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Exploring Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series.
Description : During the past twenty years the phenomenon of church growth--especially as it has been known under the dynamic leadership of Donald McGavran and the School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary--has resulted in an impressive array of books, articles, reports, and theses. While freely acknowledging their debut to the church growth school, the contributors to this volume wish to explore further the premises, principles, and goals of church growth. Firmly convinced that church growth is more than empirical data and effective methods, and that there is nothing approaching a complete book of church growth, they aim not simply to offer definitive answers but rather to open up fresh lines of inquiry--historical, experiential, methodological, and theological. Thus, while interacting with previous studies, the authors view their work as a constructive contribution to the search for a more adequate understanding of church growth patterns. Contributors to this volume include Alfred C. Krass, Harvie M. Conn, Orlando E. Costas, John H. Yoder, Harry R. Boer, and C. RenŽ Padilla.
Description : Bishop Hilliard pinpoints the signs leaders should look for in knowing their churches are growing in a healthy manner, and includes a discussion of satellite churches, extension churches, and new church plants as signs of healthy growth.
Description : A practical handbook that shows how you can achieve results like that in your congregation as well. Exman identifies the unique problems facing small town and rural churches, and in this book he offers proven strategies for conquering the cancer of declining membership and building stronger congregations.