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Category Archives: Ch 1 The Problem
First, I propose to meet this need for consulting by developing a seminar based Self-Study process to present basic information on church growth
Project Purpose In 2003 I was trained as one of six certified consultants supporting the Office of Congregational Development of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. In 2004 this judicatory unit was given the responsibility of responding to requests for … Continue reading
inviting persons to worship where they arrive as strangers, worship with strangers, leave as strangers, and remain strangers.
The attraction paradigm combined with evangelism as a salvation event has resulted in the approach of inviting persons to worship where they arrive as strangers, worship with strangers, leave as strangers, and remain strangers. Even the most progressive congregations face … Continue reading
Conversion is more directly related to relational influences on an individual than any other factor.
Human societies are actually living social networks of relationships where each person is linked by diverse forms of kinship. A gospel that spreads along human kinship networks will eventually unite people across all ethnic and socioeconomic barriers. Jesus, John Wesley … Continue reading
Fourth Systemic Problem: Stranger Evangelism Donald McGavran’s controversial Principle of Homogeneity states “Men like to become Christians without crossing racial, linguistic or class barriers.” An institutional worldview interprets the best target for evangelism to be a homogenous unit as … Continue reading
Methodism has continually adopted new methods as expediency provides them. The camp meeting shaped prairie Methodism. Asbury called camp meetings “fishing with a large net.” It is hard to imagine in this century the human hunger for socialization and activity … Continue reading
It is an gross oversimplification, however, to say that Methodism on the American frontier went “where the people were.”
It is an gross oversimplification, however, to say that Methodism on the American frontier went “where the people were.” Early Methodism, according to Lovett Weems, “seemed more at home in rural settings” and was more successful there. Asbury developed “a … Continue reading
As Methodists formed churches, the old timers in the class meeting experienced power struggles with the shift to resident clergy.
Prairie class meetings became prairie churches, based on a single cell; this is a classic limitation to church growth as classes grew larger and became small churches. The role of the class meeting to enforce church discipline seemed to disappear … Continue reading
Francis Asbury preached the gospel on the empty prairies during a vast migration of people from urban to rural areas.
Francis Asbury preached the gospel on the empty prairies during a vast migration of people from urban to rural areas. Prairie Methodists simultaneously built churches and communities in the rural wilderness. They faithfully replicated Epworth and Wroot across the Midwestern … Continue reading
Third Systemic Problem: Traditional “Prairie” DNA Rapidly growing cell churches credit their success to John Wesley’s use of class meetings in England. The churches of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference are also hereditary descendants of Wesley’s societies with very … Continue reading
An institutional view of the Church is unbiblical. When an institutional worldview is present, the focus of change is upon transforming old “come structure” institutions into postmodern institutions to attract new generations that are fundamentally opposed to institutions. Rather than … Continue reading