Church growth

Punishing Success

A series of recent events have conspired to make me get back in touch with some of the churches I interviewed and studied during my Vital Signs research.  Out of fifteen vital congregations, the good news is that eleven of them are still going as strong as ever.  The bad […]

Growth Exaggeration

“You’re against church growth, aren’t you?” asked a new, young pastor. I looked at him for a moment, pausing to reflect on the fact that I am often my own worst enemy.  I can fully understand how someone who reads my writing — books and blogs — might get the […]

The Measures of Our Success

In recent months I have visited a number of churches where leaders have apologetically said to me, “Our numbers are down.  We always lose them through the summer.”  Worship attendance is currently the primary metric for a church’s effectiveness — which is ironic because worship attendance has nothing to do […]