christian mysticism growth can be formally defined as that science which investigates the nature, function and health of Christian churches, as they relate to the effective implementation of the Great Commission.
As a science, it requires measurement, research and evaluation. It is not ungodly to look at the facts. If the effectiveness of ministry is important to Christians, they will measure the results. Is the church growing? Are new members being added? Are they transfers from other churches, or do they include new Christians (Converts)? How many have been added this year as compared to last year? How many people are involved in weekly Bible Study? How many are trained to witness?
Diagnoses diseases of the Church according to Biblical principles, prescribes ways for health to become a reality. Jesus Christ, the head of the church does not get sick. He is perfect. But the rest of the body does get ill.
Is practical, It is not just theory. We are not interested in producing an investigative study to be kept in the shelf for dust. The investigation of the nature, function and health of Christian congregations is a means to an end. Our goal is the effective implementation of God’s Great Commission.
Teaches stewardship, as good stewards, Christian must use their resources with maximum efficiency to reach others with the Gospel.
Preach the word and make disciples. That includes the internal growth of the church as Christians are trained to be responsible members of the body of Christ.
Is a theological conviction. It cannot be denied – the main purpose of the church is to grow – that includes inward growth as Christian nature. It includes outward growth as God’s people reach out with the Gospel. To be a church growth person is to believe that comprehensive growth is the reason for the existence of the church. Everything the church growth church does is based on the premise of growth. Internal and external growth determines the priorities, the programs, the worship, the policies, the budget and the life of the congregation involved in the church growth movement. Church growth requires a deep commitment to the theology of growth.
Is an applied science. Based on the eternal principles set down in scripture, the principles are combines with the best insights of modern psychology, sociology, anthropology and the study of communication.
AN ECCLESIOLOGY OF CHURCH GROWTH
Ecclesiology “means a theology of the church.” It comes from the same Latin word from which we get the word “Ecclesiastical.” Church growth sees the church as a living organism.
Wrong view of the church. Some people tend to look at the church as building centered. “Church” to them is a directly related to bricks, boards, glass, steel and property. While building serves as a convenient setting for corporate worship, the nature of the church is not tied material objects. Martin Luther said it this way: the church is wherever the word is proclaimed and the sacraments are administered. Church growth emphasizes the fact that the church is alive. God calls people to himself to be His possession
1 Peter 2: 9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”.
The believes that every church must grow – Every Living organism in the world has one characteristic in common: growth. Every church is created by God. Every church, like every organism, is undergoing constant renewal. The church is alive, and growth should be expected as the norm, not the exception.