Some complain when they hear of a new church plant. “We don’t need more churches.” However, in his book Breakout Churches: Discover How to Make the Leap Thom Ranier notes that “eighty percent of the churches in North America have either plateaued or are declining in growth.” It is universally acknowledged that the most effective way to evangelize is to plant new churches. In addition, that is the testimony of the Bible. Paul evangelized by planting churches. Evangelism was a church thing. It was not fundamentally one on one persuasion.
What do you think? Do we need more churches?
I do think that churches have life cycles. Many new testament churches where formed and then scattered. Others where formed and corrupted. Church planting is an effective tool for dealing with these issues. They create rebirth and regrowth.
I am not sure that church planting is the answer to churches seeming to plateau, etc. Perhaps they have abandoned thier first love and need to remember, repent and return. I also wonder if in our “church planting” we are often to quick to abandon what has been years of hard work,etc. Just thinking out loud as we walk through this process ourselves.
Here is an article by Tim Keller on this subject that I found helpful.http://download.redeemer.com/pdf/learn/resources/Why_Plant_Churches-Keller.pdfThis is his opening statement: “The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else–not crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes–will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting. This is an eyebrow raising statement. But to those who have done any study at all, it is not even controversial.”After this statement, Keller addresses common objections. His thoughts are worth considering.What do you think?