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Evaluating The Church Growth Movement


“The church growth movement (CGM) has stirred debate ever since it was first introduced by Donald McGavran in the 1960s. By the 1980s it attracted enough attention to merit the publication of around 580 church growth books. Many churches experienced significant growth applying these principles. But during the 1990s critics questioned the movement and its theological underpinnings. Nevertheless, interest in the movement continues in the 21st century. It’s a movement that can’t be ignored. This Counterpoints Church Life book presents five viewpoints on the CGM from national church leaders from a diverse denominational, theological, and geographical representation. The five perspectives include: * Effective evangelism view: Church growth effectively confronts the culture (Elmer Towns) * Gospel in our culture view: Church growth does not effectively engage the culture (Craig Van Gelder) * Centrist view: Church growth has been culturally insightful but theologically superficial (Charles Van Engen) * Reformist view: Church growth has not developed a balanced intertwining of theological reflection, cultural analysis, historical perspective, and practical strategy (Gailyn Van Rheenan) * Renewal view: Church growth must come from the inside out being a community of faith focusing on kingdom issues (Howard Snyder) Not only do the five main contributors respond to each other’s positions, but another chapter gives the responses and views of three nationally known pastors for whom church growth is not an academic discipline but a matter of hands-on daily involvement. The book intends to make a valuable contribution to the church by bringing together conflicting views so all perspectives are heard and readers can make their own informed conclusions. The book’s introduction by Gary McIntosh shows why this is a movement that can’t be ignored. He gives a helpful brief overview of the history of this movement that celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2005. Each chapter includes discussion questions enabling readers to use this book in small group and classroom settings.”

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SKU (ISBN): 9780310241102
Editor: Paul Engle | Editor: Gary McIntosh | Elmer Towns
Binding: Trade Paper
Published: October 2004
Counterpoints Church Life
Publisher: Zondervan


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