Charles Arn – Church Growth Hero (If I Dare Say ‘Church Growth’)

Last Saturday, while Kelley and I were in Los Angeles, I was able to meet one of my Church Growth Heroes – Charles (Chip) Arn of Church Growth, Inc.  He and his wife Ann were gracious enough to share dinner with me and Kelley at Kate Mantinlini’s in Beverly Hills (yep, we were living it up!).

Win Arn, Charles’ father, was one of the founders of the Church Growth Movement in America and he has greatly influenced my thinking about church.  I’ve read everything from Win and Charles that I can find and I always discover something helpful.

Here’s some of my favorite books:

Part of our conversation was how ‘church growth’ is a watered down phrase and is often derided term in many circles today.

Chip responded that one of the reasons Donald McGavran (the founder of the Church Growth Movement) and his father, Win, went with the term ‘church growth’ in their initial writings (over 40 years ago) was that ‘evangelism’ had become such a watered down term in many circles.

I always suspected that Rick Warren chose the term ‘church health’ in his book The Purpose Driven Church, because ‘church growth’ had become such a watered down term.

So what term should we use? I still prefer to use ‘church growth’ and ‘evangelism’ but I’m always open to the term that best communicates to today’s leaders (as long as it retains the heart of reaching and disciplining people in the most biblical and effective way possible).

Chip, thanks for the time over dinner!

Nelson Searcy

P.S. For today only, in honor of Chip Arn, I’m going to give away a copy of my “Starting A Second Service” resource – use the Ask Nelson button on the right to request your free copy (I’ll send you the details by reply email).  This offer is only good on April 29, 2008.  After that, you can pick it up here

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyEvangelism, Uncategorized

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