A major new report on church growth says that social action projects are a key driver of growth in a local church. This in turn helps new people embark on journeys of discipleship.
The Growing Good report is jointly produced by the Theos think tank and the Church Urban Fund. It identifies social action as a vital route to church growth, in both numerical and spiritual terms. Social action, it says, is a key way local churches build strong relationships in their communities, which in turn leads to new faith journeys. The report carried out over 350 interviews, in 60 communities and analysed huge quantities of parish data.
The findings reinforce the message of Manchester Diocese’s current Stepping Stones for Growth training. Simon Bessant, Manchester’s Head of Nurture, was at the recent launch of Growing Good.
He said: "The timing of this report is amazing. In our own Stepping Stones training, we explain how social action projects lead to church growth, which then leads to new journeys of discipleship. The central message of Stepping Stones is now clearly evidenced in this new research.
"The three strands of our diocesan strategy are Growing, Nurturing and Serving. It’s so encouraging to see hard evidence in the report that these three belong together and support each other."
Visit the Theos website for more information on Growing Good.