Biblical Church Growth

Biblical Church Growth is a great resource by Gary L. McIntosh.  He addresses what the Bible says about church growth versus what current cultural trends can be within the church.  Many people hold that the church growth movement is a bad thing, but church growth is a biblical thing.

Favorite Quotes

  1. I use the word biblical to make the point that, contrary to public opinion, church growth is not based on sociology, marketing, or demographics (9).
  2. Faithful churches become effective not simply because they do the right things [hows] but because they understand why the right things need to be done (25).
  3. Simply stated, life-giving churches have a strong commitment to the authority of God’s Word (37).
  4. According to Christ, bearing fruit is a primary way for his disciples to bring God’s glory.  But what exactly is fruit?  There are two dominant possibilities – character and converts (55).
  5. Discipleship is a process that involves all three of these elements – going, baptizing, and teaching (73).
  6. One of the reasons more churches do not experience biblical church growth is tied to this truth: They have not sought the face of God (89).
  7. It is amazing the difference a leader’s attitude can make in the life of a church (95).
  8. The truth is that growing people grow churches (109).
  9. To develop an effective lay ministry so that biblical church growth can take place…people must know and buy into the church’s vision (117).
  10. The goal is to glorify God by making disciples who follow Christ, not today’s Christian tastes or preferences (131).
  11. The plateauing of a church almost always involves increased bureaucracy, emphasis on maintenance, and unwillingness to change (158).
  12. When Jesus first used the word church (Matt 16:18), he implied that both the universal church and local churches would grow (168).

Book Overview

Every pastor wants to have a vibrant, dynamic church. There are many popular models for church growth based on outstanding churches led by outstanding pastors. But unfortunately, specific models are temporary and go out of style quickly. Author Gary McIntosh explores the biblical principles for church growth and applies them to today’s culture. Instead of concentrating on the ephemeral how of church growth, he focuses on the unchanging why.

McIntosh defines church growth as “all that is involved in bringing men and women who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ into fellowship with him and into responsible church membership.” In other words, church growth is effective evangelism, not a methodology for increasing membership. According to Biblical Church Growth, growing churches always evidence a desire to fulfill the Great Commission by cooperating with God in building a faithful church.

Using personal stories and current statistics as well as numerous biblical examples, the author sets forth ten basic principles that provide an eternal foundation for helping any church-large or small-achieve lasting vitality and growth.