It is significant that we actually posses the original church growth documents. They are inspired by the Holy Spirit and profitable for our instruction and guidance. The sources for our examination of church in the first century are the New Testament documents themselves. In the rapidly expanding literature being produced on this subject, the major emphasis is on contemporary models of successful churches. Where principles are enunciated, they are sometimes based more on sociology than on theology. There is a scarcity of study material, which uses these God-given documents as a database. This book attempts to fill that gap.
The original documents are bulging with insights on how and why the early churches grew. Growth patterns emerge for us, which are directly applicable and at the same time thoroughly Biblical. Both church planters and students of church growth will want to become familiar with the original documents and the apostolic practice described in them. As we study the New Testament in this light it takes on the character of a practical handbook for growing churches, rather than a theoretical textbook on ecclesiology.
For us who may be involved in assisting the growth of a local church, this book will provide Biblical principles which are just as valid today as they were in New Testament times when they were first use and taught.
Ken Fleming has been an enthusiastic and passionate Bible teacher for more than fifty years. His service for Christ has led him to many parts of the globe, including South Africa, where he spent twenty-five years as a missionary among the Zulu people. From 1977 through 2002, Ken taught in the Bible and Missions programs at Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, Iowa. Today he continues proclaiming the gospel and strengthening the church body through writing and preaching ministries.