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Church Growth Modelling

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Modelling Church Growth using mathematics & computer simulation.

In 1904-5 Moriah chapel was the centre of massive church growth in Wales through a God-sent revival.

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Church Planting

Where is the best place to plant a church? Perhaps it is a big city where they are many people and a track record of successful churches. Or is it a smaller location where people know each other better and are perhaps more open to persuasion?

Three system dynamics models are compared and discussed in the context of church planting. Although supply and demand, and generating evangelistic resources, may influence the nature of the church plant, it is argued that generating enthusiasts is the real key. Revival significantly changes the dynamics of a growing church and overrides demand-side and organisational limits to growth. See Blog post.

Welcome to the website of Church Growth Modelling. This is a science website, so prepare to be challenged. Questions welcome. It is a Christian website promoting revival, so prepare to be challenged spiritually!



Why UK Revivals have Stopped

Most of the pre-1900 denominations in the UK declined through the 20th century, a pattern which continues to this day. This decline started shortly after the period of revivals came to an end. Analysis indicates that the demise of revivals caused the conversion rate to drop and thus church to decline. Without revival churches are not sustainable.

So why have revivals stopped? Six suggestions are put forward, connected with: Institutionalism, Rationalism, Liberalism, the Doctrine of Hell, the Future Hope and the Hand of God.

It is hypothesised that UK church decline is caused by lack of conversion, which in turn is caused by lack of revival, which in turn is caused by church being too focussed on immediate worldly concerns at the expense of the future hope and judgement. The root cause of church decline is internal secularisation. Read blog post

The Models - Quick Guide

Limited Enthusiasm Model.
Church grows through the activity of enthusiasts who alone are responsible for the recruitment/conversion of unbelievers into the church.
Congregational Models.
Applied to the individual congregation only. Designed to assist church leaders.
Limits to Church Growth Models.
Models to illustrate barriers to church growth.
Sociological Models.
Based on theories in the sociology of religion.
What is Church Growth?
The discipline that analyses why churches grow and decline.
Sociology, Methodology, Mathematics, Computer Simulation.
What's New?
Latest additions to website
Self Enhancing Resource Model
Aging and Church Decline
Institutional Model
What is Modelling
Blog
Informal articles:
Rewriting History.
Church Growth Limited by Inadequate Resource Production
Lack of Conversion Caused by Demise of Revival
Revival and Church Growth Dealing with Objections
Church Growth - It's a Disease!
Enthusiasts are "contagious Christians"
Revival threshold
extinction threshold
Limited Enthusiasm - Revival
Understanding the dynamics of revival by analogy with the spread of a disease.
Revival growth threshold - how a small number of enthusiasts can make a big difference.
Church of England Decline
Limited enthusiasm with demographics applied to Church of England attendance data
What will it take for the church to survive?
Limits to Church Growth
What limits the growth of congregations? Lack of demand, lack of supply by the churches?
A variety of models to explore possible limits to church growth.
Renewal
Limited enthusiasm with inactive believers renewed.
Renewal not evangelism is key to church growth.
Critical mass.
1904/5 Welsh Revival & Spiritual Life
Application of the Spiritual Life model to the last big revival in Wales.
Religion is modelled as a disease of variable infectiousness depending on the spiritual life of the church, spread by enthusiasts.
Under the Bonnet
What is "modelling"? What lies underneath a dynamical model - the technical details that get it to work?
Overview of modelling methodologies.
Introduction to system dynamics & agent based modelling.

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Church Growth Modelling