How many church plants survive?

I often get asked, “How many church plants survive?

It’s the wrong question.

I remember being a first-time church planter. I understand the angst. You hope for more, but you fear failure. It’s only natural. So sooner or later God has to go to work on our mixed motivations. Painful, but better than living with a desperate need to succeed.

In our second church plant, I learned that God has other agendas than just the survival of one church plant. After two years, we closed it down to the glory of God.

Later I became a coach of church planters. I soon learned that when it comes to success or failure in planting congregational churches, selecting the right planters was everything. Get the selection right and the rate of survival improves dramatically.

Still the wrong question.

Here are the questions you could be asking:

  • How many people, who are far from God will hear the gospel today?
  • How many believers can you train to connect, share, and disciple others?
  • How many new disciples can you form into groups that become churches?
  • How many new churches can you equip to reproduce disciples and churches?
  • How many disciples have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the faith?

Answer these questions correctly and you can stop worrying about the survival of one church plant, and focus on the growth of a movement.