As we continue to read about the ins and outs of planting we came across some encouraging statistics concerning church planting in the book Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters become Movement Makers by Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird. It is an awesome book that has encouraged us and we recommend it to anyone interested in the growth of Christ’s bride.

We thought we’d share some of those encouraging stats with you:

  • If you want to grow your church plant a new one – “A study of church-sponsoring churches showed the typical sponsor fared quite well from the experience. Worship attendance increased 22% for five years after sponsorship of the church plant. Financial giving to the local church likewise increased 48% over that same period, and designated gifts such as towards foreign missions giving increased 77%.” – pg. 49
  • Most Church Plants Survive – “In one study of churches in ten denominations, two years after being started, 92% of new churches still exist. After three years, 81% still exist. After four years, 68% still exist.” – pg. 101
  • New Churches Do Grow – “At the one year mark, average attendance of a new church is forty-one people. At the two-year mark, it’s fifty-six. At the three-year mark, it’s seventy-three. At the four-year mark, it’s eighty-four.” – pg. 101
  • Church Plants can become Self-Sufficient Quickly – “A full 30% of new churches attain self-sufficiency in the first year, 40% in the second, 54% in year three, 62% in year four, and 70% attain it by year five. It is a long-held principle that churches must become self-sufficient in order to have long-term survivability.” – pg. 101
  • The Power of Church Multiplication – “If a church of twenty people plants just one church of twenty each year, and if each of those likewise follow the cycle of planting on church per year, then in twenty years the original church would have multiplied into to more than ten million people. That’s the power of multiplication. ” – pg. 202

Kind of surprising aren’t they? We’ve heard so much to contradict these stats – our church can’t afford to plant –  only 1 in 5 church plants survive – you’ll never be self-sufficient as a church plant – etc… While these are rumors, here are the facts! Church planting isn’t risky business – in fact church planting isn’t only the best way to evangelize, but it may also prove to be the best way to revitalize our dwindling sanctuaries, and on top of it all – it’s do-able. We can plant churches. We should plant churches. We must plant churches.

For more on Ed Stetzer and his work see – www.EdStetzer.com

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