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More Church Plants Needed

Doug Foltz recently posted an interesting article about the state of churches in the U.S. on his blog, plantingchurches.org.

According to census data, the population of the US currently is roughly 300 million. In 2050, they project that they the population will be 400 million. While many surveys suggest that 40% of Americans attend a church service regularly, that number is largely inflated. According to David T. Olson’s book, The American Church in Crisis, in 2005 the number was closer to 17.5%. That seems more realistic to me. Multiple studies have also suggested that about 4,000 churches close their doors annually. So let’s play with those numbers a little. For easy math, let’s say we want to keep pace with where we are right now (roughly 20% in attendance). That would mean in the next 40 years we will have an additional 20 million people in church. Thus we’ll need a net gain of 100,000 new churches running about 200 people each. That’s about 2500 new churches annually. With 4000 churches a year closing their doors, that equates to 6500 new churches needed a year just to keep pace with population growth. According to the Christian Post, we are only adding about 500 new churches a year, 2000 short of what is needed to just keep pace with population growth.

Is your church growing or declining? What can you do to help plant churches?

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