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Literature on Church Growth

Hover over a book to see the title,
and click on it to view the
literature index

 

How to Use

To navigate around the book there are a number of ways to travel. You can link to a page from the main index simply by clicking on a link.

To turn to the next page in the book, you can click the right or left edge of the page. You can also use the controls on the bookmarks, or my favourite is to grab a page corner with the mouse and turning.

You can quickly link back to the index from the link in the book listing. When linking back to the index the book only turns a single page to speed the return.

You can save or share the exact book page by simply copying the unique URL from your browser address bar.

Hope you enjoy reading the reviews!

Branded

  • Author: Turpin, K.
  • Date of Publication: 2006
  • Origin: US

Turpin aims to show how consumerism divorces teens from “the Christian vocation” and how to help them to confront it. Her contention is that consumerism is the norm and teens need to be equipped to question its value by a welcoming church.

This text is built heavily on Wesleyan values and on a conservative, U.S approach. Turpin offers helpful case studies of activities that have helped young Christians to question consumer culture’s permeation of their lives and values, such as comparing the meaning systems. She advocates small groups as the most effective vehicle for doing this.

Churches Serving Schools

  • Author: Lankshear, D.
  • Date of Publication: 2002
  • Origin: UK

The key purpose of this text is to outline reasons for churches to support schools and teachers, and ways in which this can happen. Lankshear notes 16 models of churches' engagement with schools. He also considers the activities that churches can undertake to engage with the curriculum, school life as a whole and to provide a vital pastoral element to schooling.

Mission-shaped Youth

  • Author: Sudworth, T
  • Date of Publication: 2007
  • Origin: UK

Sudworth looks at the importance and impact of youth mission, gives an introduction to the priorities of youth missionand a review of the research driving it before going on to give a number of case studies of both school-based (chapter 4) and church-based (chapter 5) youth projects.

He closes the text by giving a few  ideas for how churches can be “youth-shaped”.

Effects of Parental Church Attendance, current family status and religious salience on church attendance.

  • Author: Ploch, D.R. and Hastings D.W.
  • Date of Publication: 1998
  • Origin: US

This U.S-based paper introduces the concept of “salience” and looks at this factor alongside parental attendance, marriage and presence of children in families to predict church involvement.

The concept of salience is derived from Ploch and Hastings (1993) where the authors noted that a belief that religion is of current relevance to contemporary society was a predictor of religious participation regardless of social group (age, sex, denomination or race).

Using data from the General Social Survey, the authors divide into groups based on dichotomies like married/unmarried, no children/1 or more children, and religion salient/not salient. They then put the data through a LOESS analysis to iterate out non-significant factors.

Discipleship, children and the non-churched: our Last Chance Saloon

  • Author: Walker, J.
  • Date of Publication: 2011
  • Origin: UK (Resourcing Mission Bulletin Article)

Walker focuses on child churchgoing and its impact on adult attendance. He cites Gill (1999), which links childhood attendance (age 11-12) in Britain and Northern Ireland with adult attendance. Examining this link, Walker suggests that childhood church attendance shapes adult morality regardless of continued church attendance - those who attended church less than once a month as children and not as adults have stronger agreement with church morals than those who never attended church.

Citing the decline of child attendance in the church, Walker briefly comments on increases in midweek child attendance, noting that this doesn’t offset Sunday attendance decreases. He does not note a key change in proportionality: in 2001, for every child attending midweek worship there were 3.08 children at Sunday services. In 2008 this ratio was 1 : 1.9. This behavioural change isn’t accounted for by overall decrease (-1.6%). Walker’s research compares child attendance at Fresh Expressions in Canterbury diocese to growing parish churches. Fresh Expressions fare better, attracting greater proportions of children along with their non-churched families.