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Church Growth Principles


"What do people mean when they talk about effective church growth principles? Do we make God's kingdom come? 'God's kingdom certainly comes by itself,' Luther wrote. Ours is to sow the seed. We hamper the kingdom if we sow carelessly or if we do not sow at all. But we do not make it grow." Mark Braun, The Growing Seed, What Do People Mean When They Talk about Effective Church Growth Principles? The Northwestern Lutheran, September 1, 1991, p. 300. Mark 4:26-29.


"Waldo Werning has made an outstanding contribution to the church growth movement in America with Vision and Strategy for Church Growth...Working out of the models established by Donald McGavran and the School of World Mission at Fuller Seminary, Waldo Werning breaks new ground in developing ways that church growth principles can be applied directly to American churches." [Foreword by C. Peter Wagner] Waldo J. Werning, Vision and Strategy for Church Growth, Second Edition, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, p. 5.


"In the light of church growth principles as they are promulgated in many mission schools these days, the question naturally arises as to whether or not our approach to world mission work is in need of reassessment or improvement." Ernst H. Wendland, "Church Growth Theology," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, April, 1981, 78, p. 108. "A number of experts on church growth principles added muscle to the conference. Among the experts were George Barna, George Gallup Jr., Lyle Schaller, and Tom Sine—icons in the church growth movement...Of the four church growth experts mentioned above, I have heard three of them speak at some length." [On opposing page, letter about Church Growth which Wayne Mueller answered] James P. Schaefer The Northwestern Lutheran, October 15, 1991, p. 363.


"In an initial burst of enthusiasm reflecting Preus's concern for missions, the Fort Wayne faculty had petitioned the 1977 convention of the Missouri Synod to have each of its subdivisions or districts "make a thorough study of the Church Growth materials." What is more, the districts were to be urged to "organize, equip, and place into action all of the Church Growth principles as needed in the evangelization of our nation and the world under the norms of the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions." By the time of the 1986 synodical convention, however, the same faculty, while appreciating the "valuable lessons of common sense" to be learned from Church Growth, asked that "the Synod warn against the Arminian and charismatic nature of the church-growth movement."

Kurt E. Marquart, "Robert D. Preus," Handbook of Evangelical Theologians, ed., Walter A. Elwell, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995, pp. 353-65. Reprinted in CN, 6-26-95, p. 21.


"For the Love of Pete,"...presents "The Master's Plan for Making Disciples"...."Planned Parenthood for Churches"...Church growth principles are communicated with warmth and humor.”

Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 132.


"In late 1976, 80 district mission and evangelism executives and board members attended special Fuller Seminary sessions and by the late 1970s, courses on Church Growth principles were taught at both LCMS seminaries." [Toward a Theological Basis, Understanding and Use of Church Growth Principles in the LCMS. 1991. p. 1] Rev. Curtis Peterson, former WELS World Mission Board, "A Second and Third Look at Church Growth Principles," Metro South Pastors Conference Mishicot, Wisconsin, February 3, 1993 p. 10. "Church Growth Principles. Worldwide truths which, when properly applied, along with other principles, contribute significantly to the growth of the church."

C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 284.


"Introduction to the Church Growth Movement by Lutheran authors, Hunter, Kent R., Foundations for Church Growth (New Haven, MO: Leader Publishing Co., 1983) - the author, an LC-MS clergyman who has now set up his own church growth consulting service, performs the valuable service in this 204 page book of presenting an introduction to church growth goals and terminology. Werning, Waldo, Vision and Strategy for Church Growth, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1977) - Werning, active for years in LC-MS stewardship work, explains the foundations, presuppositions and principles of church growth and then shows how a congregation can benefit from making use of certain church growth principles - of the two books listed in this category, Werning's is the more practical."

Prof. David J. Valleskey, Class Notes, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, PT 358A p. 6.


"Roger Leenerts is an executive with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, serving as associate executive secretary for North American missions on the Board for Mission Services. He has been a key instrument in introducing church growth principles and practices into the LCMS through sponsoring church growth seminars and workshops for key denominational personnel. Under this new emphasis, church planting became the primary mission emphasis for the synod. In the mid seventies only twenty new congregations were being started per year. Currently the number is over 100, and the goal for 1990 is 500 new congregations per year."

C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 246.


"Waldo Werning is director of the Stewardship Growth Center of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and an adjunct professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. He teaches a seminar course and conducts seminars which focus on 'supply side stewardship,' integrating church growth principles with a stewardship program."

C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 274.