Church Leadership Foundations, Church Growth Philosophy
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 9:53AM
Dr. Carlus Gupton in Christian leadership, Christian ministry, Church Growth, Church Leaders, Church Leadership and Renewal, Ministry in Church, Ministry resources

Christian Ministry Resources

Foundations of Church Leadership & Church Health

CHURCH GROWTH

 

Part of the LifeandLeadership.com ministry resources on Church Leadership, Church Health and Renewal. It discusses perspectives that were important to the first edition of the site, and is now part of the site archive that is not updated past 2012.

Introduction

This is one of several Philosophies of Church Leadership and Renewal, which include Church Growth (this essay), Missional, Emergent/Evaluating emergent, and other Missionally Responsive Trajectories.

In church leadership, many materials are based on the assumptions of the church-growth perspective, usually suggesting more effective efforts to attract outsiders and help them be more receptive to the gospel. They affirm the minority status of the church and the need to be missional, but still convey hope for established churches to redefine strategies to appeal to those who may be attracted to the gospel. On a more pragmatic level, church growth does all it can to reach people while preserving biblical distinctives. Given the fact that it tries to find relevant ways of connecting with people, adapting cultural preferences in ways that are congruent with Scripture, some refer to this as “accommodation without compromise.”

This approach peaked in the 1990s with the seeker-sensitive movement. It is strongly criticized among many missional and emergent authors. Certainly to the extent that church growth minimizes theology, is overly pragmatic, fails to truly make disciples, minimizes deep spiritual transformation, is tied to the old cultural assumptions of American Christendom, etc., the criticism is just. Yet these weaknesses are not necessarily characteristic of all who follow a church growth philosophy. Depending on the author, church growth has enduring value in helping churches remove obstacles to evangelism and become more intentional about reaching people.

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Ministry Resources on Church Growth Philosophy

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Article originally appeared on LifeandLeadership.com, Ministry Resources, Christian Leadership, Church Leadership (http://www.lifeandleadership.com/).
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