God has revived the Church in the past: historical scholarship shows movements of church growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and in the Church in contemporary China. Britain is not predestined to become more and more secular. History does not consist of inexorable processes.
To say all this does not mean that there are no problems in seeking a theology of church growth. Talk of church growth can be as redolent of neo-liberalism as of the Christian faith. But the way forward is not to shy away from theological analysis of church growth. It is to develop a thought-out theology.
This would recognise that growth means other things as well as numerical growth. But a theology of church growth would dare to value highly the numerical growth of congregations, and face the theological questions posed by numerical decline. There is someÂthing too fatalistic, and too conÂvenient, about the indifference of many theologians and church leaders to discussing church growth.
–David Goodhew in the September 7, 2012, Church Times (emphasis mine)