"One of the most basic lessons I learned from McGavran was that the best way to discover what makes churches grow is to study growing churches. As a result, my first season of research, spanning the 1970s and into the 1980s, was spent doing exactly that. In retrospect, I now look at this as researching the technical principles of church growth." -- C. Peter Wagner
I cite this so we can see that the tentacles of the NAR stretch back as far as the seeker friendly theories of church growth. They are intertwined throughout the decades, which is why I do not try and pry them apart now. What is also interesting is that similar to the PDC, Wagner was very interested in the same carnal growth schemes.
"During that time, I began to notice something I obviously did not have the mental equipment to understand or to assimilate into my analysis of church growth. I noticed that the churches worldwide that seemed to grow the most rapidly were, for the most part, those that outwardly featured the immediate present-day supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit." -- C. Peter Wagner
Did you catch that? Wagner's research uncovered that places like the Vineyard church, which focused on this new iteration of the old latter rain heresies had the most growth. This is why and how the false signs and lying wonders became a plank in the foundation of the NAR. This is what paved the way for the cesspool that is Bethel Church, the Kansas City Prophets and IHOP.
"One of the most explicit Scripture verses about church growth is Ephesians 4:16, which says that the Body of which Jesus is the head, "joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body" (italics added). A formula for growth, then, is: Unity (joined together) + Gifts (every part does its share) = Growth." -- C. Peter Wagner
I have made Ephesians 4:16 the key verse for today because this is where the fundamental biblical flaw was made in the formation of the NAR. If one reads the entire context of Ephesians 4 it is dealing with the growth of believers into Christ; not the overall numerical growth of the church. Acts teaches us that horizontal growth belongs to the Lord. Ephesians 4 is dealing with the vertical growth of the sheep. That is why they need shepherding. This is why the seeker friendly, purpose driven NAR is so antithetical to the bible. We are supposed to mature to the stature of the fullness of Christ but when the church no longer tends to the sheep, they starve to death. So this formula that came from the wickedly deceitful heart of C. Peter Wagner is fatal underpinning to all of the apostasy we see today.
"Every time Jesus began building His Church in a new way throughout history, He provided new wineskins. While He was still on earth, He said that such a thing would be necessary: "Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into the new wineskins, and both are preserved" (Matt. 9:17). The growth of the Church through the ages is, in part, a story of new wineskins. Because this is the case, a crucial question not only for professors of church growth, but also for Christians in general, is this: What are the new wineskins Jesus is providing as we move into the twenty-first century?" -- C. Peter Wagner
Whenever we hear the crazy theology of the NAR today we can wistfully think back to the crazy theology of C. Peter Wagner. The portion of scripture he references are part of three parables Jesus told in response to the Pharisees asking why His disciples did not fast. The wineskin parable represents the inability to try and squeeze the legalism of the Pharisees, who strain out gnats to swallow camels, into the new covenant. It has nothing to do with building the church. Jesus is not providing "new wineskins" for the 21st century, ugh.