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Last December we posted a write up of why we believe we should plant new churches. Here it is again as a reminder to why we are called to do this. Enjoy!

  • Why plant new churches? Why not work to revive existing congregations that are struggling?

1. We have a biblical mandate to evangelize.

Quite simply – planting churches is the best way to carry out the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). Here Jesus calls us to make disciples and to baptize, both of which help incorporate individuals into a community of faith. C. Peter Wagner, a leading missiologist (a person who studies missions), argues, “Planting churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.” Not only do we have a mandate to evangelize, but we also have biblical examples of reaching those distant from faith through church planting. The key example is found in Paul’s missionary journeys as he worked to establish churches in nearly every city he visited.

2. We have a need for more churches.

In the last 100 years the church-to-population ratio has declined drastically. The number of churches has increased just over 50% while the population in the U.S. has quadrupled. In 1900 there was one church to every 357 people, but in 2004 there was one church to every 909 people.

One of the most staggering statistics is that even if we filled, if we packed out every church throughout the whole U.S. three times every weekend, if every seat in every church was filled throughout the nation – there would still be 90 million people without a seat!  There is a need throughout North America for new churches.

Some may argue that the U.S. and Canada are already evangelized and therefore we should focus our evangelistic efforts elsewhere. This argument is simply false. In the U.S. there are 120 million secular/undiscipled people. The U.S. is the largest mission field in the Western hemisphere. The U.S. is the fifth largest mission field on earth.

3. Our present methods aren’t working.

We have a need for new churches. Some might argue that we need to revitalize the struggling congregations in our denomination before we plant. While we agree that such revitalization is needed, we struggle with the concept. Often saving dying congregations is more difficult and ultimately more costly than planting new ones. When we consider being good stewards of God’s Kingdom resources we find that it is often more responsible to plant new churches.

Not only does it make financial sense to plant new churches, but it is also proven that planting new churches is the best form of evangelism (note Wagner’s quote above). Studies show that on the average 60-80% of the members of church plants were not previously attending any worshiping body, while churches that have been established 10-15 years gain 80-90% of their new members by transfer from other congregations. In short, the average church plant will bring 6 to 8 times more new people into the Body of Christ than an older congregation of the same size.

Also, new churches are better at reaching new residents, younger adults, and new social groups than are established churches. Why? Simply because new congregations provide access, ownership, and leadership opportunities to these fresh faces right away, while older established churches often require people in such groups  to wait several years before they are viewed as prospective leaders.

  • Why plant in the Denver area? Why not in Chicago or Western Michigan where you guys know more people?

There are many reasons why we feel called to plant in Denver. First, God has led us to the Denver area. We first kicked around the idea of church planting in Denver over a year ago. At the time, we felt God leading us to accept an internship opportunity in Albuquerque, NM, but while here in ABQ we found ourselves within classis Rocky Mountain (a regional body of churches). At a classis meeting last October we were approached by three successful CRC church planters and the regional director of Home Missions. They asked to consider planting a church in the greater Denver area. After much prayer and many long conversations we do believe that God has called us to the Denver area.

We also feel called to the Denver area because these three church planters have promised us their support. They will coach, mentor, and supervise us in our efforts. The Denver area provides us this network of encouragement. Ultimately, the goal is to plant ten churches in the area in the next ten years and we will be on the front end of this movement.

We believe we are called to the Denver area because since we’ve let people know what the plan is we’ve been overwhelmed with encouragement. Whether through phone calls, emails, or quick conversations many of you have shared your excitement about God’s call on our lives. Thank you for that!

Finally, we are called to the Denver area because of the great immediate need. In this area nearly 90% of our neighbors, family, and friends do not have a significant connection with a church body! We are called to help people connect with our God and become members of his body.

We hope this has helped answer some of your questions. If you’d like to chat or have more questions – please contact us. You can post here on the blog or email us – we’d love to talk more with you.

For more reading on why we should plant churches check out the document below written by Tim Keller or click on the link to Ed Stetzer’s blog. Also we’d like to credit these two authors for providing us the hard data and statistics found above. They come from Stetzer’s Planting Missional Churches and Keller’s Church Planting Manual.

Tim Keller on “Why Plant Churches?”

http://www.edstetzer.com/

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Hi Everyone,

Below are a few pics of our new place. So far we are loving it!

Our Home in Aurora, CO

Thank you for all your love and support! We continually give thanks to God for you!

Peace,

Nate and Sam

July 2010
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