The Real Story Behind Transfer Growth and Churches: A Twenty-Five-Year Analysis

Transfer growth occurs when someone moves his or her membership from one church to another within the same community. In this article, I posit that most of church growth in the last twenty-five years has been via transfer—mainly from smaller churches to larger churches. But first, I want to analyze more deeply what defines transfer growth and why it occurs.

What Is Transfer Growth?

Growing a church should be a spiritual exercise through obedience to the Great Commission. God has not changed His mission in the last 2,000 years. Seeking and saving the lost is still the priority. Every church on the planet is called to accomplish this objective by making disciples. Statistically, however, churches grow in one of four ways.

    1. Conversion growth occurs when a church assimilates new believers into the congregation who were previously not part of the body of

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