GROWTH BY TRANSFER & Donald McGavran’s Warning About the Most Popular Church Growth

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  Recent LifeWay and US Census Bureau studies indicate that “transfer growth” is the dominant growth mechanism in North American churches.

Donald McGavran, founder of the Church Growth Movement, warned, “By transfer growth is meant the increase of certain congregations at the expense of others… But transfer growth will never extend the church, for unavoidably many are lost along the way.”[i]

Most evangelicals have looked for a new church in their life. Evangelicals (67 percent) are most likely to have looked for a new church at some point in their lives. Catholics (41 percent) and the “nones”—the religiously unaffiliated—(29 percent) are least likely. (http://factsandtrends.net/2016/12/29/16-things-we-learned-about-evangelicals-in-2016/#.WGZBq4E8KaM)

[i] Donald A. McGavran, Understanding Church Growth (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1970), p. 72.