Church growth could also be seen as an application of Biblical, anthropological, and sociological principles to congregations, denominations and their communities in an effort to disciple the greatest number of people for Jesus Christ. Internal : This is the spiritual growth of Christians. Is the gospel open today, or does it carry the baggage of cultural expectations, idolatry of tradition etc? Home > Spiritual Growth > Christian History Church History: The Early Church and Middle Ages Help your group explore the key questions Christians have faced over two millennia. It's the biggest room in the house. Church growth is enhanced when each member becomes a part of the body (Eph. A vigorous growing church is catalyzed by dynamic leadership that draws the entire church into action. He blogs at Between Two Worlds and Evangelical History. Right relationship is established with God and man. Though we are the vehicles to communicate the Gospel, our strength and power come from God. Christians could be found in all the major cities of the empire and in many smaller cities, and it was becoming apparent that Christian was not a passing phenomenon. The church in China is experiencing tremendous growth like never before, says the World Council of Churches (WCC). This article presents the concept of ‘church growth’ alongside evangelism mainly in the book of Acts. But for all the talk we hear about spiritual growth, it’s often difficult to understand exactly what that looks like. The larger the base, the greater the possibilities for growth. Great Leadership – Without a doubt the greatest key to church growth is leadership. This is the great story of church growth, and the growth is explosive. In most cases, the church planter and the people can clearly describe and articulate their vision. The book of Acts provides a detailed, orderly, eyewitness account of the birth and growth of the early church and the spread of the gospel immediately after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.Its narrative supplies a bridge connecting the life and ministry of Jesus to the life of the church and the witness of the earliest believers. What is more, the Church attracted people from all walks of life and from all social classes, and its leaders were well educated, culture, resourceful, and articulate. Growth of any kind follows a typical pattern. For the church planter to function as a good leader, s/he must have certain specific character qualities and carry out certain specific leadership responsibilities. Expansion: This is accomplished by the evangelization of non-Christians within the area of the operation of the church or ministry. The Jerusalem Council became a pivotal point in the history of the early church. The most striking figure, however, comes two generations later. Paul and Barnabas left the indigenous churches with leadership that would provide the direction after the apostles departed. Several churches have vision statements they never use. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974. McGavran Donald A. and Winfield C. Arn. In chapter 1 there’s 120 of the believers gathered in the upper room to whom the Spirit comes, and the church is initiated. S/he must be creative, innovative, and assertive with regard to the vision and mission God has for His work. Although many questions will remain unanswered, the amazing growth of the early church is an enigmatic and important topic of research. Sovereignty (Supreme Authority of God). It is a truth of God which leads his church to spread his Good News, plant church after church, and increase his body”(1977, p.15). Many Rip Van Wrinkles exist in contemporary times. Church Growth: This is the quantitative and qualitative development of the church. Whereas the Old Testament depicts evangelism as people coming to God, the Lucan perspective demonstrates that God’s servants will go to His people. The early church increased in number so dramatically in a relatively short period of time for a variety of reasons. In fact several fathers seem to mention Paul as the author of this epistle in their writings. We are the church, and we are disciples! The book of Acts is a record of the growth of the early church, started by Jesus’s disciples and then expanded by the Apostle Paul. The church grew, and can grow today, by following in the footsteps of the early church. Everything rises … Mega Church Pastor Converts to Catholicism. By the year 250, however, the number had risen to more than a million, almost two percent of the population. The early church's growth was often associated with meeting practical needs. 11. See also Acts 4:18 (Sanhedrin); Acts 12:5 (Herod); Acts 11:11 (Peter’s rescue). For example, this was the view espoused by the “seeker-sensitive church” movement a few years ago and … It is a deliberate focus on young and new believers for the purpose of spiritual guidance and counseling. Others may help but I must accept personal responsibility. Discipleship is something bigger than an institution that “organizes” a process for spiritual growth. Copyright © 2021 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved. Church Growth: The State of the Art. Life development groups provide a critical function that facilitates a church’s growth e.g. Essential Nature of Prayer in Early Church Growth Prior to ascending to heaven, Jesus told the disciples, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). These should move the church toward realizing the accomplishment of its vision. One cannot replace the methods or the principles that brought church growth in the New Testament in our own era.