The church grew rapidly during the first centuries. The question is: Why? Generations of
scholars approached this question from different perspectives and with different methods.
Historical research, analysis of early Christian texts and theological reflection were the most
common methods used to shed light on the growth of the church. In this contribution five
different models of growth were discussed, using the approach of A.M. Schor as a point
of departure. These models of church growth were put under the headings of an apostolic
mission model, values reproduction model, social reaction model, network model with an
institutional model added.