Back to Top
Our Stores Contact Us Help
Welcome, {{username}} Log Out Log In   /  Sign Up

Evaluating the Church Growth Movement (Counterpoints Series)

Paul Engle (Ed)Elmer L TownsGary L Mcintosh (Ed)Gelder Craig VanEngen Charles VanRheenan Gailyn VanHoward Snyder
Evaluating the Church Growth Movement (Counterpoints Series)
sneak Peek

Evaluating the Church Growth Movement (Counterpoints Series)

Paul Engle (Ed)Elmer L TownsGary L Mcintosh (Ed)Gelder Craig VanEngen Charles VanRheenan Gailyn VanHoward Snyder

$35.99

Paperback
Also Available In

Although the church growth movement has made a significant impact on evangelicals, it has also created controversy and division. This careful five-view analysis helps evangelicals understand the movement's strengths and weaknesses and arrive at their own conclusions on issues that affect the future direction of the church. 304 pages, from Zondervan.

Also Available In

You May Also Be Interested In

About "Evaluating the Church Growth Movement (Counterpoints Series)"

Although the church growth movement has made a significant impact on evangelicals, it has also created controversy and division. This careful five-view analysis helps evangelicals understand the movement's strengths and weaknesses and arrive at their own conclusions on issues that affect the future direction of the church. 304 pages, from Zondervan.
- Koorong

Gaining form and momentum over the second half of the 20th century, the Church Growth movement has become an enormous shaping force on the Western church today. You may love it, you may hate it, but you can't deny its impact. But what exactly is Church Growth? In what ways has the movement actually brought growth to the church, and how effective has it been in doing so? What are its strengths and weaknesses? This timely book addresses such questions. After providing a richly informative history and overview, it explores--in a first-ever roundtable of their leading voices--five main perspectives, both pro and con, on the classic Church Growth movement: -Effective Evangelism View (Elmer Towns)-Gospel in Our Culture View (Craig Van Gelder)-Centrist View (Charles Van Engen)-Reformist View (Gailyn Van Rheenan)-Renewal View (Howard Snyder)As in other Counterpoints books, each view is first presented by its proponent, then critiqued by his co-contributors. The book concludes with reflections
- Publisher

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 500 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. 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 50th anniversary in 2005.
- Publisher

Evaluating the Church Growth Movement Copyright 2004 by Gary L. McIntoshRequests for information should be addressed to:Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Evaluating the church growth movement : five views / contributors, Elmer Towns ... [et al.] ; Gary L. McIntosh, general editor. p. cm. - (Counterpoints) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-310-24110-3 1. Church growth. I. Towns, Elmer L. II. McIntosh, Gary, 1947- III. Counterpoints (Grand Rapids, Mich.) BV652.25.E93 2004 254''.5-dc22 2004008616All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE. Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission.Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.Scripture quotations marked NRSV are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission.The website addresses recommended throughout this book are offered as a resource to you. These websites are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of Zondervan, nor do we vouch for their content for the life of this book.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other-except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.Printed in the United States of America04 05 06 07 08 09 10 /. DC/10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1WHY CHURCH GROWTH CAN''T BE IGNOREDGary L. McIntoshWhen you hear the term church growth, what words or phrases come to mind? You may think of megachurches, small groups, numbers, contemporary worship, marketing, or a host of other concepts that have occasionally been promoted as popular church-growth theory.In contrast, you may identify the term church growth with effective evangelism, church planting, church extension, making disciples, church multiplication, or other aspects of outreach that seek to win people to Christ and enlist them as responsible members of his church.These differing perceptions of the term church growth, and the emotions that arise from them, clearly point to misunderstanding and disagreement regarding the term, as well as the movement. Church growth is one of those ideas that cause us to draw lines in the sand. We are either for an emphasis on church growth or against it. There seems to be little neutral ground. Donald McGavran, the father of the modern Church Growth movement, recognized early on the divisive nature of Church Growth thought in a letter to his wife, written from Costa Rica on September 8, 1961: "It is clear that emphasizing the growth of the churches divides the camp. It is really a divisive topic. How strange when all are presumably disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ." Dr. McGavran''s words still ring true today. Church Growth continues to divide the camp, as the five viewpoints expressed in this book will demonstrate.SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONSThere is agreement, however, among Church Growth critics and adherents alike that the Church Growth movement has made significant contributions to the mission of the church, contributions that cannot be ignored. For instance, one early critic of the movement believes its major contribution is in "clarifying of the mission of the church and focusing mission activity on the responsive." Other critics add that the movement has provided a "strategy and a set of pr
- Publisher

Meet the Authors

Paul Engle (Ed)

Paul E. Engle, series editor for Counterpoints Church Life, is an ordained minister who served for twenty-two years in pastoral ministry in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, and Michigan. He is an adjunct teacher in several seminaries in this country and internationally. He serves as associate publisher and executive editor in the Church, Academic, and Ministry Resources team at Zondervan. He and his wife Margie, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Elmer L Towns

Elmer L. Towns (D.Min., Fuller Theological Seminary) is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty's existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.

Towns has published over a hundred books including My Father's Names; 10 Sunday Schools That Dared to Change; 10 of Today's Most Innovative Churches; Towns' Sunday School Encyclopedia and the Gold Medallion Award awarded by the Christian Booksellers Association for writing the Book of the Year, The Names of the Holy Spirit. The multi-volume Praying through..... series has been received by a wide readership.
Koorong -Editorial Review.

Gary L Mcintosh (Ed)

Gary L. McIntosh (Ph.D., D.Min., Fuller Theological Seminary) is a nationally known author, speaker, educator, and consultant, as well as a professor of Christian ministry and leadership at Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, Calif. He is also the president of The McIntosh Church Growth Network, which has served over 500 churches in 55 denominations throughout the U. S. and Canada. He has written extensively in the field of pastoral ministry, leadership, generational studies, and church growth including Biblical Church Growth, One Size Doesn't Fit All, and The Exodus Principle.

Gelder Craig Van

Craig Van Gelder (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, PhD, University of Texas) is Professor of Congregational Mission at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, and the author of The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit. He is the editor of the The Gospel and Our Culture Series which includes four volumes The Church between Gospel and Culture: The Emerging Mission in North America,The Missional Church in Context: Helping Congregations Develop Contextual Ministry,Confident Witness --- Changing World: Rediscovering the Gospel in North America, and The Missional Church and Denominations: Helping Congregations Develop a Missional Identity.
-Editorial Review- Koorong

Engen Charles Van

Chuck Van Engen (Doctorandus (1978), PhD (1981), Free University of Amsterdam) is the Arthur F. Glasser Professor of Biblical Theology of Mission and has taught in the School of Intercultural Studies since 1988.

Before coming to Fuller he was a missionary in Mexico, working primarily in theological education. He also taught missiology at Western Theological Seminary in Michigan and served as president of the General Synod of the Reformed Church in America from 1998 to 1999.

A prolific author, Van Engen has published many books, chapters in books, and papers. His wide-ranging publications include Communicating Gods Word in a Complex World (2003, co-authored with Daniel Shaw); Fullness of Life for All (2003, edited with Inus Daneel and Hendrik Vroom); Announcing the Kingdom: The Story of Gods Mission in the Bible (2003, co-authored with Arthur Glasser, Dean Gilliland and Shawn Redford); Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions (2000, edited with Scott Moreau and Harold Netland); and Footprints of God: A Narrative Theology of Mission (1999, edited with Nancy Thomas and Robert Gallagher).

Rheenan Gailyn Van

Paul E. Engle, series editor for Counterpoints Church Life, is an ordained minister who served for twenty-two years in pastoral ministry in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, and Michigan. He is an adjunct teacher in several seminaries in this country and internationally. He serves as associate publisher and executive editor in the Church, Academic, and Ministry Resources team at Zondervan. He and his wife Margie, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Howard Snyder

snyder is professor of the history and theology of mission at asbury theological seminary, wilmore, kentucky.

Table Of Contents

  • Contents
  • Introduction: Why Church Growth Can't Be Ignored: 7 Gary L. Mcintosh
  • 1. Effective Evangelism View: Elmer Towns 29
  • Church Growth Effectively Confronts And Penetrates The Culture
  • A Centrist Response 54
  • A Reformist Response 58
  • A Renewal Response 62
  • A Gospel And Our Culture Response 65
  • 2. Gospel And Our Culture View: 73 Craig Van Gelder
  • Church Growth Lacks A Sufficient View Of The Church, Which Hinders It From Effectively Engaging The Culture
  • A Centrist Response 103
  • A Renewal Response 107
  • An Effective Evangelism Response 110
  • A Reformist Response 113
  • 3. Centrist View: Charles Van Engen 121
  • Church Growth Is Based On An Evangelistically Focused And A Missiologically Applied Theology
  • A Renewal Response 148
  • An Effective Evangelism Response 151
  • A Reformist Response 154
  • A Gospel And Our Culture Response 158
  • 4. Reformist View: Gailyn Van Rheenen 165
  • Church Growth Assumes Theology But Ineffectively Employs It To Analyze Culture, Determine Strategy, And Perceive History
  • A Centrist Response 190
  • A Renewal Response 195
  • An Effective Evangelism Response 198
  • A Gospel And Our Culture Response 201
  • 5. Renewal View: Howard Snyder 207
  • Church Growth Must Be Based On A Biblical Vision Of The Church As The Vital Community Of The Kingdom Of God
  • A Centrist Response 232
  • A Reformist Response 237
  • An Effective Evangelism Response 241
  • A Gospel And Our Culture Response 246
  • 6. Pastoral Reflections 253
  • David C. Fisher 255
  • Douglas Webster 258
  • Roberta Hestenes 262
  • Afterword: Gary L. Mcintosh 265
  • Selected Bibliography 269
  • About The Contributors 273
  • Discussion Questions 277
  • Index 281

Excerpt

Excerpt from: Evaluating the Church Growth Movement (Counterpoints Series)

WHY CHURCH GROWTH CAN'T BE IGNORED Gary L. McIntosh When you hear the term church growth, what words or phrases come to mind? You may think of megachurches, small groups, numbers, contemporary worship, marketing, or a host of other concepts that have occasionally been promoted as popular church-growth theory. In contrast, you may identify the term church growth with effective evangelism, church planting, church extension, making disciples, church multiplication, or other aspects of outreach that seek to win people to Christ and enlist them as responsible members of his church. These differing perceptions of the term church growth, and the emotions that arise from them, clearly point to misunderstanding and disagreement regarding the term, as well as the movement. Church growth is one of those ideas that cause us to draw lines in the sand. We are either for an emphasis on church growth or against it. There seems to be little neutral ground. Donald McGavran, the father of the modern Church Growth movement, recognized early on the divisive nature of Church Growth thought in a letter to his wife, written from Costa Rica on September 8, 1961: 'It is clear that emphasizing the growth of the churches divides the camp. It is really a divisive topic. How strange when all are presumably disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.' Dr. McGavran's words still ring true today. Church Growth continues to divide the camp, as the five viewpoints expressed in this book will demonstrate. SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS There is agreement, however, among Church Growth critics and adherents alike that the Church Growth movement has made significant contributions to the mission of the church, contributions that cannot be ignored. For instance, one early critic of the movement believes its major contribution is in 'clarifying of the mission of the church and focusing mission activity on the responsive.' Other critics add that the movement has provided a 'strategy and a set of priorities for mission'; 'a militant, optimistic, and forward-looking approach to the missionary enterprise'; and a way to 'make us all aware of peoplehood and its human diversity as a tool in world evangelization.' Another critic suggests two major theological contributions of the Church Growth movement: 'The first contribution is the theological clarification that the growth of the Church is not something that should be simply an overflow of the life of the Church. Rather, growth must be something that is intentional and embraced at the purpose level of the Church. [The] second contribution is the clarification and development of the Church's understanding of the leadership qualities and characteristics necessary to catalyze and mobilize a group of Christians.' Advocates of Church Growth thought suggest that the movement has contributed even more to the advancement of Christ's mission in the world. One Church Growth advocate writes, 'The Church Growth Movement emerged in the service of a powerful theological vision: to fulfill the ancient promise to Abraham, and to fulfill Christ's Great Commission, by reaching the lost people, and peoples, of the earth.' He then lists twenty specific contributions from the Church Growth school that have impacted church ministry, particularly evangelism. For example, the first five major contributions can be described as networks, receptivity, indigenous forms, new units, and people groups. Church Growth has taught us: 1. The gospel spreads most contagiously, not between strangers, nor by mass evangelism, nor through mass media, but along the lines of the kinship and friendship networks of credible Christians, especially new Christians. 2. The gospel spreads more easily to persons and peoples who are in a receptive season of their lives, and Church Growth research has discovered many indicators of likely receptive people. 3. The gospel spreads more naturally among a people through their language, and the indigenous forms of their culture, than through alien languages or cultural forms. 4. 'First generation' groups, classes, choirs, congregations, churches, and ministries, and other new units, are more reproductive than old established units. 5. Apostolic ministry is more effective when we target people groups than when we target political units or geographical areas. While critics and adherents will no doubt continue to debate the specific contributions of the Church Growth movement, most would agree that the 'church-growth movement is extraordinarily influential and significant within American churches today. At its best, it should be applauded. Where it is not at its best, it requires criticism so that it might be.' A simple way to summarize the current views on Church Growth is as follows: Some people love it. Others dislike it. Many simply misunderstand it. Understanding Church Growth, of course, is more complex than such a simplistic summary, which is why this book has been written. To make certain we all begin on the same page, it will be helpful to look at a brief historical sketch of the Church Growth movement, particularly as it has developed in North America. BRIEF HISTORY Church growth has occurred throughout the Christian era, of course, and is not really new or modern. Even contemporary Church Growth thought had a precursor, in the thought of the Dutch missiologist Gisbertus Voetius (1589--1676). Voetius believed that the 'first goal of mission is the conversion of the heathen; the second, the planting of churches; and the highest, the glory of God.' These three goals comprise a condensed version of today's Church Growth movement. The particular expression of Church Growth theory and theology under discussion in this book, however, first crystallized in the mind of Donald A. McGavran, during the years 1930 to 1955. EARLY INFLUENCES IN INDIA Donald Anderson McGavran was born in Damoh, India, on December 15, 1897. MacGavran was a third-generation missionary; by 1954, his family had served a total of 279 years in India. He attended Butler University (B.A., 1920), Yale Divinity School (B.D., 1922), the former College of Mission in Indianapolis (M.A., 1923), and following two terms in India, Columbia University (Ph.D., 1936). When Donald McGavran went to India as a missionary in 1923, he worked primarily as an educator under appointment of the United Christian Missionary Society of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In 1929, he became director of religious education for his mission before returning to the United States to work on his Ph.D. at Columbia University. After his return to India, he was elected field secretary in 1932 and was placed in charge of administering the denomination's entire India mission. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, the stirrings of what would eventually become Church Growth thought began to develop in McGavran's mind. Several forerunners contributed to McGavran's developing insights, such as William Carey, Roland Allen, and Kenneth Scott Latourette. The most direct influence, however, was J.Waskom Pickett, of whom McGavran was fond of saying, 'I lit my candle at Pickett's fire.' Pickett and McGavran were both influenced by the ministry of John R. Mott and the student volunteer movement. In 1886, Dwight L. Moody led a missionary awakening at Mount Hermon, Massachusetts, which resulted in one hundred students dedicating themselves to missionary service and the founding of the student volunteer movement. The slogan 'The evangelization of the world in this generation' became a watchword for missions during the first two decades of the twentieth century. As a senior at Butler University, McGavran attended the student volunteer convention at Des Moines, Iowa, during the Christmas season of 1919.

  • Add To Basket
    Add To Basket
  • Add To Basket
    Add To Basket
  • Add To Basket
    Add To Basket
  • Add To Basket
    Add To Basket
  • Add To Basket
    Add To Basket

Order now to secure your copy when our stock arrives. eBook is Available.

0 Available. Expected to ship in 7 to 8 weeks from Australia.
Quantity

Add to Wishlist

Product Details

Product in Series
Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 210217
  • Product Code 0310241103
  • EAN 9780310241102
  • UPC 025986241100
  • Pages 304
  • Department Academic
  • Category Theology
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Zondervan
  • Publication Date Oct 2004
  • Dimensions 203 x 132 x 19 mm
  • Weight 0.263kg

Bestsellers in Theology