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Church Growth

(5,350 words)

Author(s): Fahlbusch, Erwin | Möller, Christian | Sackmann, Dieter | Weber, Hans-Ruedi | Van Engen, Charles Van | Et al.
Overview The term “church growth” can refer to church renewal, church organizational and structural maturation, the empirically verifiable numerical growth of churches, and the theory of how and why churches grow or decline. The so-called church growth movement (see 5) began in the United States in the 1960s, although not everyone who studies the dynamics of church growth and decline would consider themselves part of this movement. Corresponding to Eng. “church growth” is Ger. Gemeindeaufbau, which to a large extent has become a programmatic word today in the German…