It seems that everyone has an angle, an idea, or a plan that is certain to help the church grow. “Why Churches Grow,” “The Madison Story,” “How to Build a Great Church,” “The Mission of the Local Church,” & “Balance.” These are just a few of the titles I see as I peruse my shelf of church growth books. The books, articles, seminars, and models concerning church growth produced in the past fifty years or so could fill an entire library. There are “church growth” experts in abundance, most of them having never actually been a part of a growing church. Some important questions need to be raised. Is it possible for churches to grow given the climate of our current culture? Does God want the church to grow? Do we want the church to grow? Must the church make radical changes to grow? What changes can be made without deviating from God's plan? What programs can affect the life of a congregation in a positive way? These questions and numerous others call for a thoughtful answer.
In our third issue of Hope & Expectation, we would like to throw in our two-cents worth. For this issue, we have attempted to address specific questions and issues regarding church growth. We have done our best to use as writers for this issue, men who have been and are in the field. We have asked men to write about specific areas of church growth that they are most familiar with due to their own life-experiences.
It is our desire to encourage church growth. Not growth at all cost, not growth without the Word, but church growth God’s way. Our prayer is that this issue of Hope & Expectation will be a blessing to everyone who reads it. We will pray that God will bless you as you help fulfill His Church Growth Plan!
— Jeff Jenkins & Dale Jenkins