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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 Decline & Lack of Revivals

Most of the pre-1900 denominations in the UK declined through the 20th century, a pattern which continues to this day. By looking at the detailed figures for one such church, the Welsh Presbyterians, it can be shown that the primary cause of that decline is the significant drop in its conversion rate, which in turn is due to the lack of revivals.

Although the falling national birth rate has had some effect on decline it can be shown that child retention by the church has remained around 50% and is not a contributory cause. Further, high conversion correlates with the frequency of revival, and when revivals end conversion drops, and declines results. The root cause of church decline is inadequate conversion into the church Read blog post... whose underlying cause is the lack of revival Read 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!

1904/5 Welsh Revival Caused by an Increase in Spiritual Life

The central thesis of the church growth models is that churches grow in a similar way to the spread of a disease, with some Christians, named enthusiasts, spreading the "infection" of religion to unbelievers. This can explain how a revival progresses once it starts, but how did it start in the first place? A further thesis is proposed that enthusiasts become more effective as they seek more of the life of Holy Spirit, increasing their effectiveness. The analogy is with the spread of a disease with variable infectiousness. Read more...

Applying the model to the 1904/5 Welsh revival shows that there was a steady build up of the spiritual life in the church from 1902. This resulted in the number of enthusiasts in the church increasing in 1903, at which point the church had been tipped into revival growth. However most of the growth occurred after 1904 when the effectiveness of the enthusiasts had been further enhanced by the increasing spiritual vitality of the churches. Read more ...

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.
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
Bounded Resource Model
Aging and Church Decline
Spiritual Life Model
Anglican Decline in the West
Informal articles:
The “Twitter Mob” and Free Speech
Communicating the Gospel
Closing Rural Churches
Cowboys for Jesus Church
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.
Limited enthusiasm with inactive believers renewed.
Renewal not evangelism is key to church growth.
Critical mass.

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Church Growth Modelling