Effective Church Growth
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Effective Church Growth
Page 18

Economic Climate

Jesus And A SheepA change in the economic climate of an area could result in transfer growth. Bermondsey in South London in England had been populated until recently with elderly people. Their children had always wanted to better themselves and invariably moved to the suburbs to get new homes until a downturn in the economy came along. Suddenly, enthusiastic young married couples came flooding back into the Bermondsey area where they could afford the housing. The local church found itself with a grand influx of new members without really trying. This was called transfer church growth. Most churches have new families who transfer in and out from time to time but generally, this does not lead to transfer growth. The problem was that this transfer could just as easily reverse itself and become "transfer church decline" should the circumstances change. This growth was largely beyond our control, but there was another type of growth that could occur that was not good for us either. This I called fatness growth.


Prodigal SonThe Sunday school teacher had been telling the story of the prodigal son. "The elder brother was angry," she said, "because the prodigal was getting such preferential treatment." After explaining the story thoroughly the teacher asked one little boy, "Was anyone sorry that the prodigal son had returned?" For a moment the child hesitated and then answered, "Yes, the fatted calf." We need to watch that our church doesn't just get fat!

"Effective Church Growth"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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