Church of England releases long-awaited church growth study

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Church growth is much like the weather–everyone talks about it, but no one ever does anything about it.

Today, however, the Church of England released a report that has been several years in the making. From 2011-2013, they undertook a scientific study to determine what factors were associated with church growth. The results are here.


While the report takes pains to point out that correlation is not causation, it does find several items as being linked to growth:

Good leadership

A clear mission and purpose

Willingness to self-reflect, to change and

adapt according to context

Involvement of lay members

Being intentional in prioritising growth

Being intentional in chosen style of worship

Being intentional in nurturing disciples

However, the report continues, there is no one recipe for church growth. Because of the wide variety of contexts, each church has a different formula that has proven to work for them, where they are.

Specifically, it notes, there is no one theological tradition or style of worship associated with growing churches–contrary to the hopes of many pundits across the theological spectrum. So long as the particular church is consistent, clear and wholehearted in its approach, these things do not appear to matter.

The report isn’t long, and it’s well worth a read.

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