Thursday, October 18, 2007

Donald McGavran, Theologian of the Synodical Conference



Donald McGavran, liberal Disciples of Christ minister, sociologist, founder of the Church Growth Movement



Quotations from McGavran and About McGavran

From MEGATRON, the Database

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


"Donald A. McGavran, who has been called the father of the modern church growth movement, states in Understanding Church Growth, 'Men and women do like to become Christians without crossing barriers' (p. 227). This experienced scholar and missionary states many examples of the homogeneous principle working in his research throughout the world."
Dr. Paul Y. Cho (with R. Whitney Manzano), More Than Numbers, Waco: Word Books, 1984, p. 46.

"There is no doubt the Body rightly understood, reverently discerned, and scientifically described assists Christian leaders in being better stewards of the grace of God and effective communicators of the gospel of Christ."
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 110. 1 Corinthians 10.

"To acquire more expertise in Church Growth thinking, I visited the School of World Mission and Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary. When I inquired concering resources and materials for American Church Growth, I found that Dr. Donald McGavran and C. Peter Wagner were team-teaching a course applying world principles of Church Growth to the American scene. I immediately became a part of that group. As I listened and learned, I realized here was the effective approach to evangelism for which I had been searching. In those hours, I experienced my third birth--'conversion' to Church Growth thinking." [Winfield C. Arn]
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 12.

"For the Love of Pete,"...presents "The Master's Plan for Making Disciples"...."Planned Parenthood for Churches"...Church growth principles are communicated with warmth and humor.
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 132.

"A Church Growth principle is a universal truth which, when properly interpreted and applied, contributes significantly to the growth of churches and denominations. It is a truth of God which leads his church to spread his Good News, plant church after church, and increase his Body."
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 15.

"Discover new ways of thinking about your church and community, develop Church Growth eyes that see more accurately the various parts, the homogeneous units, the responsive segments of the community which can be won."
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 17.



Church Growth Eyes Blinded Me with Science
"As we begin developing Church Growth eyes and see the possibilities, as we discover methods that prove effective and discard methods that are clearly ineffective, we will find ourselves in a new age."
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 19.

"As Christians refine their methods, develop Church Growth eyes, feel church growth responsibility, communicate the Gospel, and educate those who are won until they become responsible Christians, the church as a whole will receive the abundant blessing God wants to give."
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 21f.

"God wants his church to grow!"
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 22.

"They must not only believe in Jesus Christ but must become responsible members of his church The Bible requires that. If we take the Bible seriously, we cannot hold any other viewpoint."
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 30.

"If a person claiming to be Spirit-filled is not evangelizing, one must doubt how full he or she is and wonder what kind of spirit he or she is full of."
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 58.

"As we consider various factors and principles relating to Church Growth we need abundant, accurate information about the members of our churches. This basic principle of Church Growth is called Discerning the Body [in italics]. Pastors and lay people need to discern the Body in the congregation in which they are serving. For this, Church Growth eyes are essential."
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 61. 1 Corinthians 10.

Fuller Will Give Y'all CG Eyes
"Discerning the Body begins with Church Growth eyes. Unfortunately, this is what many leaders, many Christians, do not have."
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 63. 1 Corinthians 10.

"I was thinking some hard thoughts about my Presbyterian friends when the Lord said to me, 'Donald, you sat on the executive committee of the Indian Mission of the Disciples of Christ for twenty-five years, didn't you?' I said, 'Yes, Sir.' He said, 'How much time did you spend describing the growth or nongrowth of your church?'"
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 65.

"How can my congregation develop Church Growth eyes?"
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 72. 1 Corinthians 10.

"Churches grow as they reproduce themselves through planned parenthood." [Title of chapter 8]
Donald A. McGavran and Winfield C. Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, New York: Harper and Row, 1977, p. 93.

"Winning the winnable while they are winnable seems sound procedure."
Donald A. McGavran, Understanding Church Growth, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1980, p. 291.

[McGavran became a professor of missions in Indianapolis in 1957, at the College of Missions, where he got his M.A. in 1923. He began teaching at Northwest Christian College in Oregon in 1961. McGavran was invited to move his Institute of Church Growth to Fuller and become the founding dean of Fuller's School of World Mission.]
Delos Miles, Church Growth, A Mighty River, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981, p. 10f.

"The bulletin to which I refer is the Global Church Growth Bulletin, which McGavran began in 1964...One should not confuse McGavran's Global Church Growth Bulletin with Church Growth: America, a magazine edited by W Charles Arn and published by the Institute for American Church Growth."
Delos Miles, Church Growth, A Mighty River, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981, p. 11.

"Church Growth Eyes Sometimes the term is used in conjunction with the phrase, 'discerning the body.' Professor McGavran uses the terms almost synonymously. Both phrases are examples of how church growth science appropriates the medical model to express itself. Church growth eyes are 'a characteristic of Christians who have achieved an ability to see the possibilities for growth, and to apply appropriate strategies to gain maximum results for Christ and His Church.'" [McGavran and Arn, Ten Steps for Church Growth, p. 127.]
Delos Miles, Church Growth, A Mighty River, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981, p. 51.

Where WELS/LCMS Got MBO
"Church growth theorists are not opposed to applying Management by Objectives (MBO) in their work. McGavran is bold to advocate planning as much as fifty years in advance."
Delos Miles, Church Growth, A Mighty River, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981, p. 79.

Cloaca Magna of CG
"The fountainhead and headwaters of the church growth river are to be found in a man, an institute, a bulletin, a school, and a book." [But see C. Peter Wagner, "Church Growth, More Than a Man, a Magazine, a School, a Book," Christianity Today, December 7, 1973, pp. 11ff.]

"The man is Donald Anderson McGavran, the son of missionary parents, born in India on December 15, 1897, who was himself a third-generation missionary in India for more than thirty years under appointment of the United Christian Missionary Society (Disciples of Christ). He has a Ph. D. in education from Columbia University."
Delos Miles, Church Growth, A Mighty River, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981, p. 9f.

Olson (WELS): Our Hearts Beat as One
"Donald C. McGavran died at home home in Altadena, California, on July 10, 1990. He was 92 years old. Dr. McGavran is widely recognized as the founder of the church growth movement, a movement which has sought to put the social sciences at the service of theology in order to foster the growth of the church. In August of 1989 I borrowed a bicycle and pedaled several miles uphill up from Pasadena to Altadena. I found Dr. McGavran in his front yard with a hose in hand, watering flowers."
Lawrence Otto Olson, D. Min., Fuller Seminary, "See How It Grows: Perspectives on Growth and the Church," EVANGELISM, February, 1991, Professor, Martin Luther College (WELS), p. 1.

"McGavran leaned toward me and said, 'The fields are white unto harvest. But you can't harvest a field of wheat with a penknife--you need a sickle, you need a scythe. Harvest intelligently."
Lawrence Otto Olson, D. Min., Fuller Seminary, "See How It Grows: Perspectives on Growth and the Church," EVANGELISM, February, 1991, Parish Consultant for the WELS Board of Parish Services and his district's Coordinator of Evangelism. p. 2.

"But perhaps church growth's greatest challenge in North America comes from research that shows that more than 80 per cent of all the growth taking place comes through transfer, not conversion. The statistic strikes at the heart of McGavran's brainchild, now come of age. Whether by computer or spiritual power, the church growth movement must improve on those numbers. For if it does not, it will stand to lose the credibility and acceptance it has worked so long to gain."
Ken Sidey, "Church Growth Fine Tunes Its Formulas," Christianity Today, June 24, 1991, p. 47.

"In 1963 he [McGavran] planned to add to the Institute of Church Growth at Eugene an American Division headed by an American minister of church growth convictions, but the plan did not mature. In 1967 the annual Church Growth Seminar at Winona Lake, Indiana, drew in about 20 American ministers and heads of Home Missions Departments."
C. Peter Wagner (study questions by Rev. John Wimber), Your Church Can Grow, Glendale: G/L Regal Books, 1976, p. 14.

How Norm Berg Got Fullerized
"The conscious attempt to apply church growth philosophy to America was stimulated in the fall of 1972 by Pastor Charles Miller, then a staff member of Pasadena's Lake Avenue Congregational Church. At Miller's urging, I organized and asked McGavran to team-teach with me a pilot course in church growth designed specifically for American church leaders. We did it only as an experiment, but the results were remarkable: One of the students, Win Arn, left his position with the Evangelical Covenant Church and founded the influential Institute for American Church Growth."
C. Peter Wagner (study questions by Rev. John Wimber), Your Church Can Grow, Glendale: G/L Regal Books 1976, p. 15.

"The basic responsibility for the seminar is mine, but I am also assisted by Donald McGavran, Win Arn and John Wimber of the Fuller Evangelistic Association." [Two week Doctor of Ministry seminar every winter at Fuller School of Theology, on church growth]
C. Peter Wagner (study questions by Rev. John Wimber), Your Church Can Grow, Glendale: G/L Regal Books, 1976, p. 15.

"I know these questions are real because I was asking them myself when I first came, during my second missionary furlough from Bolivia, to study at Fuller under McGavran. Frankly, I entered his program in 1967 as a skeptic. But I emerged an enlightened person."
C. Peter Wagner (study questions by Rev. John Wimber), Your Church Can Grow, Glendale: G/L Regal Books, 1976, p. 35.

Kuske's Agenda for CG Institute in Columbus
"Church growth is that science which investigates the planting, multiplication, function and health of Christian churches as they relate specifically to the effective implementation of God's-commission to 'make disciples of all nations' (Matt. 28:19-20 RSV). Church growth strives to combine the eternal theological principles of God's Word concerning the expansion of the church with the best insights of contemporary social and behavioral sciences, employing as its initial frame of reference, the foundational work done by Donald McGavran." [Constitution, Academy for American Church Growth]
C. Peter Wagner, Church Growth and the Whole Gospel, New York: Harper and Row, 1981, p. 75.

"In 1980 the Church Growth Movement celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. The historical even now regarded as the beginning of the movement was Donald McGavran's publication of The Bridges of God in 1955."
C. Peter Wagner, Church Growth and the Whole Gospel, New York: Harper and Row, 1981, p. x.

WELS/ELCA Both Loved Lyle Schaller, not John Schaller
"Lyle Schaller, for example, now characterizes the emergence of the Church Growth Movement as 'the most influential development of the 1970's on the American religious scene." [In the Foreword to Donald McGavran and George G. Hunter III, Church Growth Strategies that Work (Nashville: Abingdon, 1980) p. 7.]
C. Peter Wagner, Church Growth and the Whole Gospel, New York: Harper and Row, 1981, p. xi.

"Donald McGavran is the founder of the Church Growth Movement. See chapter 1, 'A Tribute to the Founder.'"
C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 248.


"C. Peter Wagner is the Donald A. McGavran Professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Missions in Pasadena, California. The School of World Mission became a part of Fuller Seminary in 1965 when Donald McGavran, father of the Church Growth Movement, moved his nonacademinc Institute of Church Growth to Pasadena from Northwest Christian College in Eugene, Oregon. Since that time, Fuller Seminary has been the institutional base for the Church Growth Movement, first in its global expression and later in its North American expression."
C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 271.

"C. Peter Wagner is the Donald A. McGavran Professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Missions in Pasadena, California. The School of World Mission became a part of Fuller Seminary in 1965 when Donald McGavran, father of the Church Growth Movement, moved his nonacademinc Institute of Church Growth to Pasadena from Northwest Christian College in Eugene, Oregon. Since that time, Fuller Seminary has been the institutional base for the Church Growth Movement, first in its global expression and later in its North American expression."
C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 271.

"Wagner invited McGavran to team teach with him, and the course was a success. Among its students was Win Arn, who almost immediately stepped out in faith and established the Institute for American Church Grwoth, also located in Pasadena. Both Wagner and McGavran were members of the founding board of directors. Arn has given brilliant leadership to the Institute for American Church Growth and ranks as the premier communicator of the Church Growth Movement in North America."
C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 271f.

"Wagner was instrumental in the organization of the North American Society for Church Growth, and became its founding president in 1984. In the same year he was honored by Fuller Seminary with the Donald A. McGavran Chair of Church Growth."
C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 273.

Acknowledgments to: Donald McGavran, Win Arn, John Wimber, Paul Benjamin, Dennis Oliver, Harold Lindsell...Jack Hyles...Robert Schuller....
C. Peter Wagner, Study Questions by John Wimber, Your Church Can Grow, Glendale: Regal Books, 1976, p. 9.

"There are other church growth programs which have been developed along more conservative lines. Here we are thinking of adaptations of McGavran's principles such as developed by Waldo J. Werning of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. In his study entitled "Vision and Strategy for Church Growth" Werning has modified some of McGavran's extreme positions. Using some of his own adaptations Werning has conducted many seminars and workshops in applying church growth principles to a local congregational setting in America." [Werning is Who's Who in Church Growth]
Ernst H. Wendland, "Church Growth Theology," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, April, 1981, 78, p. 117.

Wendland (WELS) Helped Soften Resistance to CG
"Dr. Donald McGavran, Dean Emeritus and Senior Professor of Mission at the Institute of Church Growth, Pasadena, California, is very much concerned about the Two Billion. He severely censures the leaders of the World Council of Churches as having 'betrayed the Two Billion.'
Ernst H. Wendland, "Missiology--and the Two Billion," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, January, 1974 71, p. 9.

CG Eyes Werning Worked with WELS/ELS/LCMS
"Donald McGavran offered us the following essay on 'The Unique and Radical Nature of the Church Growth Movement.'"
Waldo J. Werning, The Radical Nature of Christianity, Church Growth Eyes Look at the Supernatural Mission of the Christian and the Church, South Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1975, p. 159.

"Dr. McGavran offers the following 'Ten Prominent Emphases in the Church Growth School of Thought.'" [Six and one half pages of direct quotes from McGavran follow.]
Waldo J. Werning, The Radical Nature of Christianity, Church Growth Eyes Look at the Supernatural Mission of the Christian and the Church, South Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1975, p. 160.

"Dr. McGavran offers the following 'Ten Prominent Emphases in the Church Growth School of Thought.'" [Six and one half pages of direct quotes from McGavran follow.]
Waldo J. Werning, The Radical Nature of Christianity, Church Growth Eyes Look at the Supernatural Mission of the Christian and the Church, South Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1975, p. 160.

"Waldo Werning has made an outstanding contribution to the church growth movement in America with Vision and Strategy for Church Growth...Working out of the models established by Donald McGavran and the School of World Mission at Fuller Seminary, Waldo Werning breaks new ground in developing ways that church growth principles can be applied directly to American churches." [Foreword by C. Peter Wagner]
Waldo J. Werning, Vision and Strategy for Church Growth, Second Edition, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, p. 5.


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