Church growth is one of the popular topics among Christian clergy and church workers.
Interestingly, many of these discussions focus more on achieving growth rather than the type of growth. They believe that as long as they are experiencing growth, it is good because that’s what they need.
While we all want our churches to grow, we must also consider the means through which we attain this growth. According to Donald McGavran, there are three types of church growth. We will discuss them in this post.
Types of Church Growth
Making use of church apps helps us to track church growth. But we must move beyond tracking just growth to finding out the source of the growth. To this end, we will discuss the three types of church growth as enumerated by Donald McGavran.
One of the first commands God gave man was “to be fruitful and multiply.” This command has to do with our biology and gives insight into what biological church growth is about. Biological church growth is the result of a man and a woman coming together to produce a child, leading to an addition in the church.
This is one of the regular ways through which churches attain growth. Of course, being born into a congregation doesn’t make an individual a believer. However, at the point of birth, that individual becomes a member of that congregation until they can make a contrary decision.
The onus is on both the parents and the church to provide ways to convert these young members to believers. Christians have to teach their kids about God and introduce them to a working relationship with Him. The first point of any church’s evangelism should be towards the kids born into its congregation. An easy way to track biological growth is via church management software like ChurchPad.
This is another very common means by which churches grow. Transfer growth refers to the growth that congregations experience from the movement of people from other congregations. In other words, it is the growth that one church enjoys when people move to their church from other churches.
There are several reasons why people leave their churches. Sometimes, it is a result of not attending church for a very long while. In such cases, when someone from another congregation invites them and they attend, they may get impressed and stay.
Another reason is that the individuals are just disgruntled with the church they currently attend. As such, they are in the market searching for a new church. Other reasons include transfers to new cities, music, ambiance, depth of the word, etc.
There will always be reasons for people to change churches regardless of whether they are legit or not. Whatever the case is, if your church is experiencing this kind of growth, you need to check why this is so. It could be that instead of preaching the gospel through outreaches, you are just selling your church. What we mean is that transfer growth isn’t bad, however, you should question it if it is your principal means of growth.
Conversion growth occurs when non-believers come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and rest their faith in Him. This type of church growth makes it possible for the gospel to reach all segments of society.
Before Jesus Christ ascended, He gave the Great Commission. This commission asks Christians to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, baptizing men in God’s name. To achieve this, churches must engage in evangelism to non-believers. They must focus on reaching the lost souls not members of other churches.
As a church pastor or administrator, you need to ask a few questions to evaluate church growth. Do you have new members at your church? How do these individuals come to your church? Are they new converts or members of other churches?
If you don’t have new converts, then it means that you must intensify your evangelism efforts. Sometimes, you need to employ unorthodox means to reach people outside the faith. The idea is to get them to listen to the unique message of the Gospel.
Is your church experiencing growth? Which of the types of growth above is your church experiencing? While biological growth is great, it shouldn’t be the only means of church growth. Your church must begin to extend its efforts to reaching non-believers.
As we mentioned above, transfer growth should always be questioned, especially when it is the only type you experience. More than anything else, you must track church growth as well as how such growth occurs. A good way to do this is to make use of a ChMS like ChurchPad.