Reasons New Churches are Popping Up

“The reason churches are springing up all over is that there an extraordinary need for people to hear the gospel.”

Michael Curtice, director of ministry and missions and teacher at Central Christian College http://www.cccb.edu/ reminded the Lake Ozark Christian Evangelizers Fellowship last night of the reason that we plant churches and the focus of the Christian and the church.  People still need to find Christ.

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Why Plant Churches?

We haven’t spent much time on church planting since we began this blog. But that was one of the reasons for the blog, to discuss and promote planting new churches. There is a need to have churches that reach the lost. My congregation is trying to move into the mind-set of winning the lost instead of trying to incorporate current Christians from other congregations into our fellowship. They are welcome, but moving sheep from one shepherd and field to another, is not the purpose of the church. Reaching the lost is our work (e.g. Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).

I now lead a group whose purpose is to start churches in the area of the participating churches, even expanding the area. We have located 3 and maybe 4 spots that need a church. Why? What reasons are there for planting a church especially when there are other churches in the area?

1. Huge numbers of North Americans call for new churches. The average size of churches in America are under 125 people. In fact, that’s about 90% or more of American churches. There is a need for more churches since certain growth limits apply.

2. The number of churches in North American have actually decreased in proportion to the population. With over 300 million people living in America and church growth as a whole failing to come close to keeping up with population growth, more churches are needed to fulfill the need of winning the lost to Christ.

3. New churches reach lost people better than any other form of evangelism. Most new churches that come into existence grow by winning the lost to Christ while existing churches have the tendency to share sheep (see the quote with the picture at the beginning of the post).

4. The older churches grow, the less evangelistic they become. Only about one half of American churches added one new Christian in the past year. My own congregation grew by 2 families and 1 individual last year (7 total; we average about 45), but didn’t add a single new Christian. By the time most churches reach 15 years, they have reached their maximum size.

5. Many current churches are in survival mode and will eventually close. The life of a church is similar to human life, 70-100 years. 9 out of 10 churches are on the down side of their life-span. So new churches are needed.

6. Half of all people in the US and Canada live in just 43 cities with populations over 1 million. Yet, only 1 out of 9 Bible believing churches exist in these cities. Many people in these densely populated cities have the least opportunity to hear about Christ.

7. New Churches are needed to reach the growing ethnic population in America. Immigration is the fastest source of population growth in North America. In America, one-third of the population are ethnic Americans. M.O.V.E. (Missouri Operation for Vigorous Evangelism) established a Hispanic congregation in Columbia (MO) in the second of half of 2009 and it is growing.

8. Today’s churches are not reaching today’s young people. Most people become Christian before age 20 but only 4% below the age 22 are saved.

9. Our children and grand-children need room for them to become responsible Christians and leaders. People are more committed to and responsible to ministries that they help lead.

10. New churches will counteract the rise of false religions in America. As America becomes more diverse ethnically, it has become the most diverse religiously. They bring their religions with them and Christianity is on the decline.

These are just 10 reasons for planting new churches. For further detail, go to http://sharperiron.org/2007/01/22/ten-reasons-for-church-planting (where I gleaned this particular information) and read the full article at SharperIron .org.

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Planting Churches

Let's be Spiritual Enviromentalists
Let’s be Spiritual Enviromentalists

Caring for and protecting our enviroment is pretty important, even critical.  Planting trees is very important in particular.  They take the bad stuff out of the air and reproduce it in oxygen, I guess.  I remember that from science class.

 
Trees are important to the enviroment.  They help with oxygen, they help prevent erosion, they provide needed shade, they pretty the place up too.  Trees are pretty important and we need to plant more.
 
When I was 12 or 13 years old, dad made me dig up the front yard.  We wanted a tree in the front.  Before we could plant it, I had to dig the plastic that got covered over when they built our house.  After what seemed like weeks but was probably 4 or 5 days, I had dug out the plastic and prepared a hole that dad and I set a tree in.  It was full of water, and we covered the roots and tethered the tree until it took root and was able to stand alone.  It is now, 35 years later, tall, branched out, and giving shade and makes the old homestead pretty.  I got to dig and plant a couple more trees in the back yard that give shade and pretty up the yard.
 
I am president of a Christian men’s fellowship whose first purpose is to plant churches in our region.  We haven’t started a church in over 21 years.  I’d say we have gotten away from our purpose. 
 
Tonight, we voted to begin to fulfill our purpose again.  That means that sooner or later, as opportunity arises, we will be involved in planting churches.  I am excited about this because this fellowship was dying on the vine.  Basically all they’ve been doing for years is meeting.  That’s part of their function but doesn’t meet the purpose.
 
I envision church planting as spiritual environmentalism.  Let’s imagine we have planted a maple tree.  1_box_elder_mapleWe care for the tree, we water and fertilize and protect it and rejoice when it produces leaves and every year it’s stands a little taller and it’s branches spread out a little further and it grows and grows into a beautiful, tall tree that brings pleasant shade to anyone who needs it.
 
As the maple grows at the right time, it lets its seeds fly and float to the ground to bear tree-children, or rather, so that another maple or more will grow and do the same thing.  Produce oxygen, shade, and seeds, reproducing to help the enviroment.
 
Planting churches is kind of like planting a maple tree.  When we have carefully chosen where to plant it, and we nurture and protect it, the church grows and begins to reproduce itself in souls won and churches planted.
 
Why plant churches?  Check out the September 6, 2009 issue of the Christian Standard (http://www.christianstandard.com/).
 
It matters because God uses churches to change the world.  Let’s plant churches and be world changers.
 
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