November 17, 2015

Shuffle Growth is the Plague of Danville Churches

Despite the fall in overall church attendance, only one in six regular churchgoers thinks the church he or she attends is declining in numbers. Two-fifths think their church is growing. Perhaps some people are in denial about falling church numbers. But it may also be that many churches are growing but mainly through transfer growth. A declining number of Christians are consolidating into growing churches. It is still possible to grow a church by offering a better church experience than other churches. Whatever the merit of this, it is vital for us to realize that this is not evangelistic growth. It is possible to plant a church and see it grow without doing mission. "People can be attracted to a church by what it offers," says Jim Peterson, "but ... increase of this sort isn't church growth at all. It's just a reshuffling of the same fifty two cards."
~Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis