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Church Growth Movement

The Church-Growth Movement has at least three distinguishing unbiblical malfunctions:

1. Its pragmatic approach to the work of the ministry. The bottom line for the "success" of a particular ministry or spiritual growth is - "Does it work?" By work, we mean, does it "bring in people" and not, is it the "work of God" i.e. is it faithful to Scripture. Because the pragmatism takes precedence, any "means" of doing ministry becomes valid. The problem becomes "unto what are we appealing" in those who are "unsaved" with some of the "gimmick" approaches to "outreach" and "growth." It is extremely easy to appeal to the "unregenerate" nature of a non-Christian. It is EASY!!! It will almost always garnish "success." But, is it true Christ-like growth? No. Unholy techniques do not produce holy people. The reality is this pragmatism goes beyond the normal "wise decision making" stewardships that God gives to us and instead employs whatever "means" to gain defined "outward" results.

2. Success measured by non-Biblical and worldly benchmarks. The pastor becomes more like a CEO than a shepherd of God's flock. Growth based in a business model and felt-needs of the people become idols. The church member is no longer a servant/worshiper of the real Lord Jesus Christ in accordance with Scripture and is treated as a consumer with church as their entertainment.

3. The conjoining with the "world" for intended outreach to that world is simply a follow-through dynamic of the false premises in 1 & 2. This is why people like "Bono" can be invited to Willow Creek Church's Annual Leadership Conference in the summer of 2006. Let's reach-out and learn about leadership from the world, just like Jesus taught us??? In this context, the social-gospel ultimately takes priority over the true gospel. Outreach and in-reach become a fog and truth is laid to waste! The Unity of Compromise and Mixture win out over Truth. "Deeds rather than Creeds" becomes the new "motto/gospel".

The end result of embracing the Church-Growth Movement is quite obviously:
Worldliness, Delusion and Ecumenism that will ultimately translate into The Harlot Church of Revelation 17. Unfortunately, more and more churches are embracing the various aspects of the Church Growth Movement and this spells disaster for true gospel growth.

It's Roots: Donald McGavran, C. Peter Wagner & Fuller Seminary
Truth vs. Technique (pdf) - By Dr. John MacArthur
Coming Home to Roost - By Grace to You
The Seeker-Friendly Way of Doing Church - By T.A. McMahon
Fuller Theological Seminary Birthed Church Growth Movement - Apprising Ministries

Popularized By: Schuller, Hybels, & Warren and the Seeker-Sensitive Church
Willow Creek Church and Bill Hybels' Theology - By James Sundquist
A Brief Critique of Schuller's "Self-Esteem: The New Reformation" - By David Sheldon
Schuller Planted, Hybels Watered, Warren (Peter Drucker) Gives the Increase - By Orrel Steinkamp
The Growth of a Purpose-Driven Church - At Let Us Reason
The Gospel According to Warren - By Gary Gilley
Rick Warren Speaks on Catholicism, the Essentials of the Faith, Peter Drucker and Global Peace
The Adulation of Man in The Purpose Driven Life - By Richard Bennett
Rick Warren's Deception Strikes Widely - At Bible Guidance
In The Name of Purpose: Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity - By Tamara Hartzell

Characteristics & Consequences of a CGM Church
Leadership/Managerial Techniques "Transform" New Paradigm Churches - By Orrel Steinkamp
Redefining the Church: The Church Growth Movement's Unbiblical Definition of the Church - By Bob DeWaay
Faulty Premises of the Church Growth Movement - By Bob DeWaay
Consumer Christianity (Part 1) - By T.A. McMahon
Consumer Christianity (Part 2) - By T.A. McMahon
Fifteen Evil Consequences of Plexiglas Preaching - By Dr. John MacArthur, Jr.
Dangers of the Church Growth Movement - By Ralph H. Elliott

Links for further study:
Faulty Premises of the Church-Growth Movement - By Bob DeWaay
Redefining the Church - By Bob DeWaay
Redefining Christianity (MP3/Podcast) - By Bob DeWaay
The Gospel According to Hybels & Warren - By Nathan Busenitz
The Market Driven Church (Part 1) - By Gary Gilley
The Market Driven Church (Part 2) - By Gary Gilley
The Market Driven Church (Part 3) - By Gary Gilley
The Market Driven Church (Part 4) - By Gary Gilley
In the Name of Purpose: Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity - By Tamara Hartzell
Self-esteem: The New Christian “Virtue” Part 1by Bob DeWaay
Self-esteem: The New Christian “Virtue” Part 2 - By Bob DeWaay
The Gospel According to Warren - By Gary Gilley
The Biblical View of Self-Image - By Gary E. Gilley
Is Secular Humanism a Religion? - From The Ways of Religion edited by Roger Eastman
The Intrusion of Psychology into Christian Theology - By Don Matzat
Theological Studies
Contemporary Concerns
Deception in the Visible Church