Leading churches into growth

The Connexional Strategy for Evangelism and Growth includes a desire for church growth. As Methodists, we want to see more people exploring faith and encountering grace, more people coming to a living faith in Jesus Christ, more people growing in faith and discipleship and more people becoming committed members of Methodist churches. For this reason, we welcome and celebrate the growth of every relationship and gathering which represents a step on that journey.

Church growth patterned on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit is not a capitalistic enterprise of addition for the sake of addition. It is a holistic process of grace, honesty, letting go even unto death, and focused attention that effects deeper spiritual and missional growth. While faithful church growth is not obsessed with numerical growth, it is attentive to it, because numbers represent people.

Methodist churches and circuits are led by teams of lay and ordained people, some of whom are paid and many of whom give their time voluntarily. Investing in all these leaders is crucial in pursuing church growth. Mission planning is another vital tool, as recognised by Conference in 2017. Research has suggested several additional practices that are associated with growing churches, and these are explored below.

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