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Church Growth Modelling

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Online Simulations

Church growth models have been developed with system dynamics and implemented in "Stella" produced by ISEE Systems. Some of the models have web-based versions, hosted by Forio Simulate, enabling anyone to experiment with the models using intuitive controls. The Stella model is available from the same site.

  • How to Build a Model of Church Growth. Simulation using system dynamics. Talks through the process of model building step by step. Acts as an introduction to SD.
  • Limited Enthusiasm Model - This is the equivalent of the model in Mathematical Modeling of Church Growth, and is used in all the listed publications. The core model deals with growth during revival.
  • Discipleship Model - This model was developed as part of the Cymru Institute for Contemporary Christianity. Its aim is to model the growth in maturity of a congregation as well its size.
  • Limited Enthusiasm Model with Migration. A variation on the published model showing the effect of a church in a growing community. The community could be growing through inward migration or through the church extending its influence, perhaps by church planting or wider exposure.
  • Limited Enthusiasm with Demographics. This is the model described in the 2005 paper and that has been used to investigate the status of denominations with regard to extinction, survival or revival.

Models - Technical Details

Church Growth models have all been developed using system dynamics, although some did originate as mathematical models using systems of differential equations. The standard method is to analyse and test the models using mathematics, simulation and system dynamics techniques. The models have been implemented in simulation software: Stella, Vensim, Berkeley-Madonna, MathCad and in the author's own programs written in the Ada programming language.


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Church Growth Modelling