A man named Christian Swartz investigated the principles involved in growing churches and discovered 8 essential qualities. He wrote a book called Natural Church Development that was published in 1996. He used a scientifically valid method of investigating the growing churches in different parts of the world and compared them with the stagnating and declining churches. So this was a truly scientific study done on a large scale.
Science is a word that comes from the Greek tongue and means knowledge. Of course, in the English language of today, it means a process of investigating the natural world around us in a logical, systematic way, using what is called "the scientific method." Pretty heavy stuff, huh? Science is just checking out the physical world around us in an orderly fashion.
Perhaps you have taken a science course in school, so you should understand the basics of testing, experimenting, and investigating natural settings and social settings by observation, testing, and in the case of social situations, using questionnaires.
That's what Christian A. Schwarz, the author of the book, Natural Church Development, did in order to investigate church growth. It was a massive endeavor and was done in different churches in many countries.
He discovered eight qualities that are the bottom line to achieving growth in attendance and membership in a "church" known in original Biblical manuscripts that were written in the Greek language as an "assembly of believers." An assembly of Christ followers is a local gathering of believers with a simple organization.
This is a pet peeve of mine--the misunderstanding of the nature of the assembling of believers during the first three centuries AD. The King James translators did not use the true translation of the Greek word for a Christian assembly. That's because they were afraid of being beheaded by King James. They created the word church, which has absolutely no etymology--no existence anywhere else--because King James wanted to keep total control over all Christians and their leaders by being the "head of the Church." But I digress.
Here are the eight essential, bottom-line, qualities of Healthy, Growing Churches discovered in this study:
Inspiring worship service
Holistic small groups
You can buy a used copy of Natural Church Development on Amazon.com. ##