The Impact of Doctrine on Church Growth

Episode #844
March 12, 2024
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Does the doctrine of the church affect the potential for growth? It depends. Thom and Sam analyze historical macro trends in church growth. Growing churches tend to be more conservative, and liberal churches tend to decline. But doctrine alone is not the entire story. The co-hosts discuss recent church history, doctrine, and the growth of churches.

    • There are always several factors at play in an individual congregation, but trends are evident across denominations and networks.
    • Historically, conservative churches grew due to transfer growth and biological growth.
    • More progressive and liberal churches declined because of lower birth rates and a lack of retention with younger congregants.
    • Conservative evangelicals are the only group with higher attendance rates today than in the past.
    • Doctrine is not the only driver. The SBC is a conservative denomination that has declined rapidly, likely due to scandals and a toxic culture.
    • Plenty of conservative churches do not grow because they become inward, so doctrine alone is not a good predictor of growth.
    • A commitment to the Great Commission remains the biggest driver of growth. We rarely, if ever, encounter a church with an ongoing evangelism emphasis that is not growing.


  • Know Your Beliefs – Coming soon!

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