CHMN737-Strategies for Church Growth

Christian Ministries Department

Instructor: Ricardo Norton- D.Min.
Fall Semester 2001
October 16-27, 2000 - Tuesdays 3:30 6:20
Home: (616) 471-8318 Office: (616) 471-3246 Secretary: (616) 471-6170

Description of the course

An in-depth study of the factors that promote or hinder church growth, followed by a strong emphasis on developing specific growth strategies for the local church.
The course provides ministers with the basic principles and tools promoted by church growth theorists. It examines the theology and history of the church growth movement, as well as the principles and methods it teaches. The intensive is designed to help pastors diagnose the present health of churches and to prescribe the right remedies for growth.


Pre-Intensive requirements
A. Required reading
a. Wagner, C. Peter. Strategies for Church Growth. Ventura, CA: Regal, 1987.
b. Wagner, C. Peter. ed. with Arn, W. and Towns, E. Church Growth: State of the Art. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1986.
c. Schwarz, Christian A. Natural Church Development: a Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches. Carol Stream, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, c1996 (BV3 .S39).
o Reading reports account for 10 % of the total grade and should be submitted in writing at an average of 2 pages per book. The reports should answer some of the following questions about the book:
- Is the title appropriate? misleading? a gimmick?
- Is the subject too broad, too shallow or too big for the author?
- Is the author thorough in the treatment of the topic?
- Is the contents of the book relevant to ministry?
- Is the content reliable? Is there anything indicating the content should not be trusted?
- Is the subject vital? To whom?
- Is the author clear and logical? Is the sequence natural?
- Is the book convincing? Are there declarations in this book you could not endorse?
- Does the author deal with more subjects than suggested by the title?
- In the scale 1-10 what grade would you give this book?
- Did the author skip important issues related to the subject that should have been included?
o These books can be purchased through the Andrews University Bookstore-(800) 385-2001.

B. Write a 10 page paper entitled "Ellen White's Principles for Church." This requirement accounts for 10 % of the total grade.

C. Submit a written report of the most successful church growth program you have implemented or witnessed. The report should have the following parts:
a. Description of the program
b. Implementation of the program-how, when, where, duration, etc.
c. Evaluation of the program
o This report should be presented orally before classroom peers at a time assigned by the instructor during the first day of class. Both, the written report and its oral presentation accounts for 20% of the final grade.

D. These three pre-intensive requirements are due on the first day of class and account for 40 % of the total grade.

During the intensive-Requirements
A. Punctual attendance to all classes-a maximum of 10 % absence of the total teaching time is allowed.
B. A 10-15 minute oral presentation of the church growth program described on point "C" of the pre-intensive requirements.

Post-intensive Requirements
A. Prepare a 60 page paper on one of the following topics:
a. "Biblical Foundations for Church Growth"
b. "Church Growth Principles from the Bible"
c. "Church Growth Principles"
d. "Church Growth Strategies"
e. "A Church Growth Strategy for [name church]"
f. "EGW on Strategies for Church Growth"
g. "Church Growth Enemies"
h. "Church Growth Friends"

B. With permission of the instructor, students who already know their dissertation topic may choose a subject that can fit into their dissertation. For approval, students most submit an outline of the dissertation indicating how the paper will fit into the monograph.

C. This paper accounts for 60% of the total grade.
a. Content 40%
b. Organization 5 %
c. Format 5%
d. Investigation 10%

D. Due date-April 30, 2001
a. Late papers are penalized with half a letter grade.
b. Withdrawal from the course or audit must be done in writing before this date; otherwise, student's grade sheet will be submitted to the registrar's office with a DG-deferred grade.
c. Students may use the attached bibliography for the elaboration of this paper.

F. For off-campus students
a. To have graded papers returned, they will have to be submitted with a self-addressed, stamped manila envelope.
All written papers and reports should be submitted double-spaced and in accordance to Andrews University Standards for Written Work-available at Andrews University Bookstore.


1. If registered for extra credits, the student must complete an additional project assigned by the instructor.

2. Late work is subject to a grade penalty

3. Any changes that are announced in class will supersede the information printed in this course outline.


October 16-27, 2000

Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m.-noon, 2-6 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-noon

Final examination: As posted

Course Grade:

Assignments Points

Pre-intensive requirements 40
End of course requirements 60
Total points 100


Defining Church Growth
Church Growth terminology
Church Growth Strategies-challenges and meaning
Types of Church Growth
Church Growth Images

Donald McGavran-founder
Peter Wagner Era-1981-1988
Critics of the movement
James A. Scherer
Alfred Krass
Orlando E. Costas
Bill Hull

The opinion of the experts
Other marks of growing churches
What growing churches need
The marks of the magnetic church
The marks of members in growing churches
The marks of growing large churches
Counsels on growth
Churches grow like trees
Church growth and fishing
Growth propulsion agencies

Church growth diseases
Vital signs
Why churches decline
Church growth enemies
Church growth friends
Why the apostolic church grew
The tasks of friendly churches
Important substantives
Evaluating church growth
Important considerations
Church growth analysis
Diagnostic questions
Diagnostic ideas form Revelation 2 an 3

Growth Patters
Measuring growth
Failing strategies
Why some church growth strategies fail
The Bible and failing strategies
Evangelistic strategies
McGavran/Arn ten steps
Centripetal evangelism
Centrifugal evangelism
Web evangelism
Osmosis evangelism
Philanthropic evangelism
Specialized evangelism
Child evangelism
Strategies for child evangelism
Church planting
Who is church planting for
Advantages of newly planted churches
Church planting models
Steps in planting churches
Small groups
Small group foundations
Types of groups
Steps in small group formation
How to prepare small group discussions
The program
Paul Yonggi Cho
Outreach Sabbath Schools
Historical foundations
Types of Sabbath Schools
Targeting receptive people
Evangelization of church ceremonies



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Arn, Win, ed. The pastor's church growth handbook. Pasadena, CA: Church Growth Press, the Institute for American Church Growth, c1979 (BV652.25 .A75).
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. The church growth ratio book: how to have a revitalized, healthy, growing, loving church. Pasadena, CA (709 E. Colorado Blvd., 91101): Church Growth, c1987 (BV652.25 .A75).
Ballast, Bruce T. The marks of the church in the book of Acts: the fingerprints of God. Thesis (D.Min.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, 1986 (BV601 .B24 1987).
Barna Research Group Successful churches: what they have in common. Glendale, CA (P.O. Box 4152, Glendale 91222-0152): The Barna Research Group, c1990 (BV652.25 .S846).
Barna, George. Marketing the church. Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, c1988 (BV652 .B33 1988).
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Deal, Larry A. Developing church growth thinking in the small and middle size church: a strategy for growth in North-Central Churches of Christ. Thesis (D. Min.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, 1992 (BV652.25 .D43).
Dean, Rodney. How to start or evaluate a small group ministry: providing an environment for spiritual and emotional ties. Lynchburg, VA: Church Growth Institute, 1991 (BV652.2 .D43).
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Eby, David. Power preaching for church growth. Fearn: Mentor, 1996.
Ellas, John W. Measuring church growth: a research-based tool for evaluating and planning Houston, Tex.: Center for Church Growth, 1997 (BV652.25 .E425 1997).
Exman, Gary W. Get ready-- get set-- grow!: church growth for town and country congregations. Lima, Ohio: C.S.S. Pub. Co., c1987 (BR526 .E96).
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George, Carl F. How to break growth barriers: capturing overlooked opportunities for church growth. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, c1993 (BV4011 .G43).
George, Carl F. Nine keys to effective small group leadership: how lay leaders can establish dynamic and healthy cells, classes, or teams. Mansfield, Penn.: Kingdom Publishing, c1997 (BV652.25 .G437).
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Gibbs, Eddie. I believe in church growth. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1982, c1981 (BV652.25 .G48).
Griswold, Roland E. The winning church: church growth evangelism for today. Amersham-on-the-Hill, Eng.: Scripture Press, 1987, c1986 (BV3790 .G88 1987).
Gruesbeck, Clarence B. Applying church growth principles for effective ministry in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church: case study: Upper Columbia Conference. Thesis (D.Min.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, 1980 (BV652.25 .G886).
Guyton, James Terry. Dynamics of Pentecostal Church growth. Thesis (D.Min.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, 1988 (BV652.25 .G992).
Hadaway, C. Kirk. Church growth principles: separating fact from fiction. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, c1991 (BR526 .H22).
Heck, Joel D. New member assimilation: practical prevention of backdoor loss through frontdoor care. St. Louis: Concordia, c1988 (BV820 .H37).
Hemphill, Kenneth S. The Antioch effect: 8 characteristics of highly effective. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman, c1994 (BV652.25 .H448).
Hiebert, Arthur. Biblical principles for church growth: strategies for the contemporary church,1987, 1986 (BV652.25 .H633).
Hobbs, John Carlton. The relationship between a church growth strategy and the numerical growth of a small church. Thesis (D. Min.)--Harding Graduate School of Religion (BV652.25 .H62 1990).
Holtz, Darrell Dean. Church growth for the emerging minister. Thesis (D.Min.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, 1985 (BV652.25 .H64 1987).
Hunter, George G. Church for the unchurched. Nashville: Abingdon Press, c1996 (BV652.25 .H838).
Hunter, Kent R. Foundations for church growth: Biblical basics for the local church. Corunna, IN: Church Growth Center ; [c1994, 1983] (BV652.25 .H85 1994).
Hunter, Kent R. Moving the church into action. St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House, c1989 (BV600.2 .H85 ).
Hunter, Kent R. Your church has personality. Nashville: Abingdon Press, c1985 (BV652.25 .H875).
Hurston, Karen. Growing the world's largest church. Springfield, Mo.: Chrism, 1994 (BR1644.5.K6 H87).
Hybels, Lynne and Bill. Rediscovering church: the story and vision of Willow Creek Community Church. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House, c1995 (BX9999.S65 H83).
Jara, Caleb. The impact of the Hispanic leadership on the growth of the Hispanic Church in North America during the last twenty years: (1968-1988), 1988 (006060).
Jo, Euntae. Korean-Americans and church growth. Baptist Theological Seminary, 1993 (BV625.25 .J6 1994).
Jokiman, Joshua Bob. Developing leadership in the local church. Thesis (D.Min.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, 1987 (BV652.1 .J65).
Kraus, Norman C. ed. Missions, evangelism, and church growth. Scottdale, Penn.: Herald Press, 1980 (BV2063 .M565).
Lavin, Ronald J. Way to grow!: dynamic church growth through small groups. Lima, Ohio: CSS Pub. Co., c1996 (BV652.2 .L387).
Leonard, Benny J. The role of the laity in church growth. Thesis (D.Min.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, 1986 (BV652.25 .L38 1987).
Library of Christian leadership. Growing your church through evangelism and outreach. Nashville. Tenn.: Moorings, 1996 (BV652.25 .G735).
Logan, Robert E. Beyond church growth. Tarrytown, N.Y.: F.H. Revell, c1989 (BV652.25 .L64).
Maner, Robert E. Making the small church grow. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, c1982 (BV637.8 .M36).
Martin, Glen. The Issachar factor: understanding trends that confront your church and designing a strategy for success. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman Publishers, c1993 (BV652.1 .M39).
May F. J. The Book of Acts and church. Thesis (D. Min.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, 1989 (BV652.25 .M39).
McGavran, Donald Anderson. God, man and church growth. Edited by A. R. Tippett. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans [1973] (BV652.25 .G63).
McGavran, Donald Anderson McGavran & George G. Hunter III. Church growth: strategies that work. Nashville: Abingdon, c1980 (BV652.25 .M26).
McGavran, Donald Anderson. Back to basics in church growth. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1981 (BV3790 .M243).
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McGavran, Donald Anderson. Understanding church growth. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, c1990 (BV652.25 .M293).
McIntosh, Duncan. Planning growth in your. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, c1983 (BV652.25 .M317).
McIntosh, Gary. Finding them, keeping them: effective strategies for evangelism and assimilation in the local church. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, c1992 (BV652.25 .M318).
Miles, Delos. Church growth, a mighty river. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, 1981 (BV652.25 .M54).
Miller, Herb. How to build a magnetic church. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1987 (BV652.25 .M55).
Mitchell, Morley. Church growth: what Jesus had to say!: what we have to do! Thesis (D.Min.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, 1985 (BV652.25 .M58).
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Pinola, Sakari. Church growth: principles and praxis of Donald A. McGavran's missiology. Abo, [Finland]: Abo Akademis Forlag, Abo Akademi University Press, 1995 (BV652.25 .P5).
Pointer, Roy. How do churches grow?: a guide to the growth of your church. London: MARC Europe, 1987, c1984 (BV652.25 .P64).
Powell, Paul W. The nuts and bolts of church growth. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, c1982 (BV652.25 .P68).
Rainer, Thom S. The book of church growth: history, theology, and principles. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, c1993 (BV652.25 .R35).
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Shelley, Marshall, editor. Growing your church through training and motivation: 30 strategies to transform your ministry. Minneapolis, Minn.: Bethany House, c1997 (BV652.1 .G76).
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Spader, Dann. Growing a healthy church: complete with study guide. Chicago, Ill. Moody Press, c1991 (BV3790 .S748).
Stephens, Edgar Randy. Maintaining growth and health in the small rural church through church growth principles. Thesis (D.Min.)--Fuller Theological Seminary, 1989 (BV638 .S74 1992).
Steve Clapp; Julie Seibert Berman; Pat Helman; Cindy Hollenberg Snider. (new) Reaching the forgotten. Elgin, IL: Andrew Center, c1997.
Taylor, Richard Shelley. Dimensions of church growth: the upward, downward, inward factors. Grand Rapids, MI: F. Asbury Press, c1989 (BV652.25 .T39).
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Growing the small church [Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Co., 1982] (BV652.25 .Z95).

December 1999 update
Bonn, Linda. The work of the worship committee. Valley Forge: Judson Press, c1998 (BV10.2 .B64 1998).
Basden, Paul. The worship maze : finding a style to fit your church. Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, c1999 (BV10.2 .B32 1999).
Comiskey, Joel. Reap the harvest : how a small-group system can grow your church. Houston, Tex. : Touch Publications, c1999 (BV652.2 .C66 1999).
Burrill, Russell. Rekindling a lost passion : recreating a church planting movement. Fallbrook, Calif. : Hart Research Center, c1999 (BV652.25 .B87 1999).
Halverson, Delia Touchton. How to train volunteer teachers : 20 workshops for the Sunday. Nashville : Abingdon Press, c1991. (BV1533 .H38 1991).
Keller, W. Phillip. His way to pray : a devotional study of prayer. Grand Rapids, MI : Kregel Publications, c1997 (BV229 .K45 1997).
Viau, Marcel. Practical theology : a new approach. Boston, Mass: Brill, 1999 (BV3 .V53 1999).
Ana María Pineda, Robert Schreiter, editors. Dialogue rejoined : theology and ministry in the United States Hispanic reality. Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, c1995 (BV4468.2.H57 D52 1995).


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