The divergence of Donald McGavran's church growth movement in North America, 1955--2000
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SubjectMcGavran, Donald A. -- (Donald Anderson), -- 1897-1990 -- Contributions in church growth.
Church growth -- North America -- History -- 20th century.
Church growth -- Study and teaching.
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This dissertation demonstrates that a divergence of Donald McGavran's Church Growth Movement (CGM) has occurred in North America from 1955 to 2000. As a result of this divergence the force of the movement has weakened, because the focus of the movement has shifted. Chapter 2 details the historical development of the Church Growth Movement in North America. Significant historical markers of the movement arise from this historical analysis. The point is that the CGM is a movement in search of its identity at the end of the twentieth century. A noticeable shift to a third generation of church growth leadership is apparent from this study. Chapter 3 describes the streams of divergence of McGavran's movement. A baseline of McGavran's core theological and methodological principles serves as the point of departure. This baseline begins with the church growth idea and McGavran's theological foundation for the CGM. The relationship between church growth and evangelism reveals that McGavran's evangelism resulted in church growth. In addition this chapter explains how the identity of the movement is dependent on the leadership of the movement. Included in this chapter is an analysis of the streams of divergence from McGavran's core theological and methodological principles. Chapter 4 contains an analysis of the divergence of McGavran's CGM. An evaluation of the CGM itself provides an overall understanding of the divergence of the movement. An evaluation of church growth theology and church growth methodology provide an overall understanding of the current state of church growth theology and methodology. An evaluation of the divergence of McGavran's movement includes an analysis of both the relationship between church growth and evangelism, and the relationship between leadership and identity. Chapter 5 includes a discussion of a proposed strategy for church growth in a new millennium. This discussion begins with the idea of church growth evangelism A theology of church growth evangelism is then constructed, which leads to a growth strategy for a new millennium.