EM427 - Church Dynamics and Growth
2,280 Standard Tuition Fee
Learning outcomesOn successful completion of this unit, students will
Know and understand
- The principles and practices of church growth
Be able to
- Discuss the theology, principles and practices of church growth and their significance for contemporary ministry theory and practice
- Analyse contemporary approaches to church growth
- Conduct a case study of church growth in a particular congregation or assess a model of church growth
- Present an analytical evidence-based perspective on church growth
Be in a position to
- Integrate perspectives from ‘Church Dynamics and Growth’ with their other theological and ministry studies
- Apply church growth strategies in congregational situations as a reflective practitioner
Section A: Principles
- The development of church growth thinking and its contemporary significance in mission thinking and practice; theological foundations and biblical examples;
- Church growth concepts: homogeneous group principle; receptivity; people movements and networks; redemption-lift; house churches; cell churches; theological foundations; quantity and quality;
- Problems in church growth: nominalism and attrition; follow-up and incorporation of new members; static, passive and declining churches; missional churches.
Section B: Practice
- Examination of contemporary models of church ministry and structure, evaluating philosophy, theological implications, and dynamics of operation; familiarisation with literature on congregational ministry methodologies and strategy development; structuring and staffing for different sized churches;
- Making a local area survey; measurement of growth and decline: types; reporting and evaluating; survey techniques relating to: membership and attendance; attrition; nominalism; lay mobilisation; financial resources;
- Growth factors: stimulants and retardants in the congregation, the wider church, the community, and the nation;
- Growth goals: establishing objectives, setting goals, making plans, assessing results.
Section C: Field Work
- Conduct a case study of one particular congregation to ascertain patterns of growth and decline over a minimum period of five years, analyse the factors involved and make recommendations. For this case study prepare your own Bibliography and reflect both theologically on what you have witnessed and reflect on the literature you have read.
- Analyse some specific model of doing church, its philosophy, theological implications, methodologies and strategies.
Carson, D. A., Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005).
Engle, P., et al (eds), Evaluating the Church Growth Movement: Five views (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004).
Frazee, R., The Connecting Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001).
Gibbs, E. and I. Coffey, Church Next: Quantum Changes in Christian Ministry (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2001).
Malphurs, A., Advanced Strategic Planning (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999).
McGavran, D. A., Understanding Church Growth (3rd Rev. ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990).
McIntosh, G. L., Biblical Church Growth: How You Can Work with God to build a Faithful Church (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003).
Pritchard, G. A., Willow Creek Seeker Services: Evaluating a New Way of Doing Church (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996).
Warren, R., The Purpose Driven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message or Mission (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995).
Schwarz, C., Natural Church Development (4th ed.; Carol Stream, IL: Churchsmart Resources, 2000).