There are two surprising values held by pastors who preside over church decline.

Two of the most cherished evangelical values have negative correlations to church growth.

One of these values is at the very heart of evangelicalism itself. Pastors who score this value exceptionally high – higher than their evangelical colleagues – are far more likely to lead declining churches.


The other value anchors the biblical narrative of redemption history. Missional practitioners cherish this value. But this value also ranks high among more traditional pastors who preside over church decline.

Two important evangelical values have negative impact on church growth! 

At least that’s the conclusion reached by researchers David Dunaets and Kenneth Priddy.[1]

They conducted research to discover what attitudes by pastors correlate with numerical church growth. They surveyed 92 pastors and evaluated the degree tow which they ascribed to 20 different values. They found four attitudes that bore statistically significant relationships to church growth:

  1. Preaching the Word
  2. Transfer growth as a sign of church health
  3. Personal and corporate prayer
  4. Providing outreach to the local community

The surprise is that two of these four attitudes bore negative correlation to numerical church growth. In other words, pastors that scored two of these attitudes exceptionally high lead churches that are in decline.

What would you guess those two attitudes are?

Tune in tomorrow for the astonishing results.


  1. David R. Dunaetz and Kenneth E. Priddy, “Pastoral Attitudes That Predict Numerical Church Growth” Great Commission Research Journal 5:2 (Winter 2014), 241-256. Available online  â†©