Andy Rowell over at Church Leadership Conversations has an interesting post in which he looks at the conclusions of seven research teams looking at church growth. Here are the fourteen reasons that are given, as reported by Rowell:
Here is a summary of the 14 factors which I document fully below: (1) witnessing, (2) strictness, (3) high fertility rates, (4) caring for children and youth, (5) high involvement, (6) welcoming new people, (7) leadership, (8) prayer, (9) being a church of 1000+ attendees or under 50 attendees, (10) being located in rural counties, (11) being in rapidly growing zip codes, (12) being in a tradition that is altering worship practices slightly but not too much, (13) churches that offer “intimacy and choice” and (14) attractive worship style, senior pastor, and church reputation.*
Obviously there is no consensus concerning what ‘makes’ a church grow. Presumably the presence of Holy Spirit also has something to do with it but he blows where he wills and can’t be pinned down :). Follow the link to read more about the findings in each category.
*Andy Rowell, “Fourteen theories of church growth from seven research teams” Church Leadership Conversations blog (June 16, 2009), n.p. [cited 16 June 2009]. Online: http://www.andyrowell.net/andy_rowell/2009/06/fourteen-theories-of-church-growth-from-seven-research-teams.html