About From Evidence to Action

The focus of the Church Growth Research Programme (2011 - 2013) was to look into the factors which are influencing church growth in the Church of England - to identify areas of ministry which are growing numerically and to find out why. This is the first time that such a wide ranging and systematic study of factors relating to church growth has been undertaken within the Church of England.

'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.' Matthew 28 v 19

Church Growth has evangelism at its heart; we seek growth out of a desire to see the Great Commission of Jesus fulfilled.

Church Growth is about making new disciples of Jesus Christ in every context and in every community in this land.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon. Justin Welby, has welcomed the research findings and all that they have highlighted. Linking church growth with the need to evangelise he says:

'As Christians we believe that the best decision anyone can make is to decide to follow Jesus Christ. It must then be of primary importance to us that so many people live their lives unaware of Jesus' invitation to follow him. How we as a Church help people hear, experience and respond to the call of Jesus is the most urgent of our priorities. These findings and conclusions are offered to stimulate the church of Jesus Christ to make new disciples and to grow.'

It is for this reason - because the findings prompt churches to act - that following on from the research, a toolkit, From Evidence to Action has been developed. This uses and builds on the findings of the research as summarised in From Anecdote to Evidence, published in January 2014. It is designed to help those who want to reflect and act on these findings.

Welcoming the toolkit, The Bishop of Liverpool, The Rt Revd Paul Bayes says:

'If the Church is to grow spiritually and numerically, good research is necessary but not sufficient. The moment comes in the mission of each local Christian community when decisions need to be made and priorities set. This toolkit is skilfully designed to resource that moment. If you use it in a context of faithful prayer and hopeful listening - to one another and to the wider community in which we are set - then it will bear real fruit. I commend it to you most warmly.'

'I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.' 1 Corinthians 3:6