Numbers matter! It seems in church world that some would like to debate that, but in short they do. Numbers matter when I am looking at my checking account or when taking the family on a trip! (Ever see “Home Alone” — count your family members before leaving!). Numbers matter when I am looking at a scale or a heart monitor or a blood pressure machine! Numbers matter!
One number that has become a particular concern to me is the number 4%! That is the number of churches in the US that are reproducing churches. In other words only 4% of all churches in the US reproduce or plant another congregation. (Stetzer, NAMB, March 24, 2011) With the population of the US continuing to climb, the number of new churches still fall way behind the number of new people. Imagine if only 4% of US couples were reproducing. It wouldn’t take long before our country would be extinct.
Besides it being a Biblical mandate (another blog), it is a practical mandate. If we are going to fulfill Jesus’ mission of carrying the gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation, we must plant new churches in the US and around the world.
So, what can you do? First, some of you are called to plant a church. It is a new day in the way of training and leading church plants. If there is any movement in you about this, let’s visit. Secondly, you can pray! All the training and all the strategies developed for planting churches doesn’t replace the need or necessity for prayer. Planting churches to reach people is about partnering with God in his work. Prayer is essential in seeing, hearing, and joining with God. Thirdly, you can go! You can serve church planters through a variety of mission trips. Fourthly, you can give! Resources are always in short supply in establishing new works. God is faithful to bless and provide through his servants. If you have been blessed (and you have), maybe your involvement in church planting is to invest in one! Finally, you can move! Church planters live for community. Maybe you are called to make a move to join with a church planter. In fact, if you are just finishing of up college and looking to get into that first job…consider applying for jobs in one of the places where new church plant is being established. (Let me know if you need some suggestions.) Your support and presence in that fledgling new plant will go along way to establishing a healthy, vibrant, life-giving church.
Let’s change some numbers. Look for your way to be a part of a church planting movement — you will not only change a number but change lives!