The Unexpected Origins of the Church Growth Movement, with Dr. Gary McIntosh (Podcast Ep 027)

Karl Vaters interviews Dr. Gary McIntosh, author of Donald McGavran's biography, about how the origins of church growth are far different than what most of us have been taught.

In this episode I interview Dr. Gary McIntosh about Donald McGavran’s role as the pioneer of the Church Growth Movement (CGM).

But don’t let the term “Church Growth Movement” stop you from listening. As the author of the superbly-written biography, Donald A. McGavran: A Biography of the Twentieth Century’s Premier Missiologist, Dr. McIntosh helps us to see that the origins of CGM are far different than what most of us have been taught.

Some of the misunderstandings he clears up include:

  • That it came from the heart of a missionary, not a pastor
  • That it was about being cross-cultural, not omni-cultural
  • That it was focused as much or more on the impact of smaller congregations than the building of bigger ones

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Phil Vaters |


Music composed and performed by
Jack Wilkins |


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Shelley Vaters |

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