Abstract

The purpose of this article is to identify and discuss key issues in church growth movement and the literature following in its wake, which represents vital sources for the emerging discipline in practical theology of church development. The church growth movement has had a strong impact on churches around the globe. Factors such as scriptural authority, evangelism, cultural openness and relevance, pastoral leadership, organization, planning, vision and goals are among issues and factors discussed in the literature. Among the shortcomings of church growth thinking is an all-too-simple theoretical reasoning, a lack of causal modeling and theological issues only superficially discussed. Oftentimes, the growth is assumed to come simply by addressing a few factors. Nevertheless, several of the issues and factors that are identified and discussed have influenced subsequent work on church development.