Gaining form and momentum over the second half of the 20th century, the Church Growth movement has become an enormous shaping force on the Western church today. You may love it, you may hate it, but you can't deny its impact. Buy what exactly is Church Growth? In what ways has the movement actually brought growth to the church, and how effective has it been in doing so? What are its strengths and weaknesses? This timely book addresses such questions. After providing a richly informative history and overview, it explores--in a first-ever roundtable of their leading voices--five main perspectives, both pro and con, on the classic Church Growth movement.
Gaining form and momentum over the second half of the 20th century, the Church Growth movement has become an enormous shaping force on the Western church today. You may love it, you may hate it, but you cant deny its impact. But what exactly is Church Growth? In what ways has the movement actually brought growth to the church, and how effective has it been in doing so? What are its strengths and weaknesses? This timely book addresses such questions. After providing a richly informative history and overview, it exploresin a first-ever roundtable of their leading voicesfive main perspectives, both pro and con, on the classic Church Growth movement: Effective Evangelism View (Elmer Towns) Gospel in Our Culture View (Craig Van Gelder) Centrist View (Charles Van Engen) Reformist View (Gailyn Van Rheenan) Renewal View (Howard Snyder) As in other Counterpoints books, each view is first presented by its proponent, then critiqued by his co-contributors. The book concludes with reflections by three seasoned pastors who have grappled with the practical implications of Church Growth. The interactive and fair-minded nature of the Counterpoints format allows the reader to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed, personal conclusions. The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Exploring Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series.
Paul E. Engle, series editor for Counterpoints Church Life, is an ordained minister who served for twenty-two years in pastoral ministry in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, and Michigan. He is an adjunct teacher in several seminaries in this country and internationally. He serves as associate publisher and executive editor in the Church, Academic, and Ministry Resources team at Zondervan. He and his wife Margie, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Dr. Gary L. McIntosh teaches at Talbot School of Theology, is a professor of Christian ministry and leadership, leads 20-25 national seminars a year, serves as a church consultant, was president of the American Society of Church Growth in 1995-1996, and has written over 95 articles and 10 books, including Finding Them, The Issachar Factor, Three Generations, One Size Doesnt Fit All, Overcoming the Dark Side, and Staffing Your Church for Growth. He has over 15 years of experience as a pastor and Christian education director. He is a graduate of Colorado Christian University, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, and Fuller Theological Seminary. He is editor of the Church Growth Network newsletter and the Journal of the American Society for Church Growth.
Elmer Towns (DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary) is cofounder with Jerry Falwell of Liberty University, where he currently serves as vice president and dean of the school of religion. He is an author and editor of popular and scholarly works, a seminar lecturer, and the creator of over twenty resource packets for leadership education. Dr. Towns has published over fifty books, including four CBA bestsellers and the 1995 Gold Medallion Book of the Year, The Names of the Holy Spirit. A visiting professor at five seminaries, he has received four honorary doctoral degrees. He and his wife, Ruth, have three children.
Gailyn Van Rheenen ( PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is director of the church planting ministry Mission Alive (www.missionalive.org), adjunct professor of missions at Abilene Christian University, and former missionary to East Africa. His website is www.missiology.org.
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