CONSIDER CHURCH PLANTING AND THE WORLD REALITIES.
The current world population is steadily rising. Moreover, the population of many large cities continues to grow. With an increasing population, there will be an ever-expanding need for new churches. In the United States alone, 70% of people have no meaningful church connection. Consider this reality:
In 1900, the Census Bureau counted 212,000 churches. In 2000, 349,506 churches were counted in America. That is roughly a 50% increase, while the population has more than quadrupled. This decline in the people-to-church ratio helps account for much of the decline in the American church.
“In any geographical area, the Christian community will grow or decline according to the degree of effort given to planting new churches.” - Peter Wagner
CHURCH PLANTING EFFECTIVELY REACHES THE UNCHURCHED
According to leading missiologist Peter Wagner, “church planting is the most effective means of evangelism.”
FACTS ABOUT NEW CHURCHES
- Younger adults are disproportionately found in newer congregations, primarily because of younger pastors.
- New residents are better reached by new congregations because it takes less time to work through “the system” to get involved and grow roots in a place.
- Unchurched families are better reached by church plants.
- Churches 15 years and older primarily reach churched people (80-90% are churched).
- Young churches effectively reach unchurched people (60-70% are unchurched).
- In a worst-case scenario for a church plant, they are reaching 3 times more unchurched people than established churches. In the best-case scenario, they are reaching 7 times more unchurched families.
WHY IS THIS?
- There are several factors that contribute to this phenomenon.
- The older a church becomes, the more pull there is to spend time, money, and resources on reached people.
- Typically the older a church becomes the more insulated its people are from the unchurched. When churches strive to become a community inside the walls they are also notorious for becoming less appealing to an unchurched person outside the walls. In an established church it is more difficult to go where the lost and unchurched are, whereas, a new plant is exposed to the culture and motivated outward naturally.