Recently, I was having a conversation with a close friend and they asked me a very poignant question. They asked…
Do we (the community) really need another church?
That’s really a fair question. The community that I live in has many great churches and some not so great churches.
But, like many communities, our community does have pockets of real estate with a church on every corner. And many of them are dying and in my opinion ineffective at reaching new people for Jesus. I’ve come to that opinion because I’ve sat down many of the pastors and that’s what they’ve told me. Because of tradition, because of lack of funds and because it’s hard to change your ways…many of these churches operate the way they have for many years and they aren’t reaching new people.
Do we need another Church? This question has been one that has rattled around in my mind for years.
Since 1998 Actually
It was way back in 1998 when I first got the church planting bug. I read an article on Willow Creek Church and thought to myself, ‘we need more churches like that!’ At the time, I worked as a youth pastor at a very traditional church. Don’t get me wrong, GREAT people. I just had a completely different philosophy of ministry than the leaders of the church. I wanted to be more like Willow Creek…in the sense of getting rid of traditions that didn’t make sense to people far from Jesus and they didn’t.
For years, I actually thought I would never plant a church. I thought that God would take me into one of those very traditional churches and help bring new vision and life.
In 2011, God started pouring the dream and desire and call to plant a church in my heart. And not only my heart, my wife’s heart. It was INTENSE! I’ll tell you that. It was all I thought about. Read about. Dreamed about. And then I would try to ignore the thoughts and they would just come back, over and over again.
Ok, back to the question.
Do we need another church?
and a little more YES!
Here are some super simple reasons to the answer of that question…
…85% of all churches in America are either plateaued or declining…wowFor every new church that opens, 4 close…wow
…There has been a 19.4% decline in church attendance in the past decade…wow
Here’s what respected Pastor and author Tim Keller has to say about it…
…”The average new congregation will bring 6 to 8 more new people into the life of the body of Christ than an older congregation the same size”
So, YES, more churches are needed.
They are needed to reach new people for Jesus.
To introduce Jesus to a set of people that haven’t been reached yet and my prayer and hope for Thrive, is that we will be a Church that reaches new people for Jesus.