Jump directly to the Content

Smaller churches do as well as larger churches in all key areas but one, according to analyst Christian A. Schwarz. That bodes well for the future of those in the shadow of mega-ministries.

Surveying 1,000 churches in 32 countries, he found eight principles of health in churches around the world, regardless of size, culture, or denomination.

The resulting "natural church development" approach has prompted debate among the experts worldwide. American pastors are starting to notice the observations of someone with an international perspective. Schwarz heads the Institute of Church Development in Germany.

Turned off by what he calls "technocratic thinking" in the church, Schwarz is bullish on smaller congregations. His research tells him that's where the action is. But Schwarz spies signs of reformation among churches of all sizes, which he discussed with LEADERSHIP's Craig Brian Larson.

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
The Harvest Is Plentiful, But the Workers Are Divided
The Harvest Is Plentiful, But the Workers Are Divided
Biblical scholars and theologians have different ways of tending their own fields. What can they learn from each other?
Editor's Pick
Hard-Copy Bibles Aren’t Just Nostalgic
Hard-Copy Bibles Aren’t Just Nostalgic
As a seminary professor, I’m requiring the physical book in class. Church should do the same.