I think church planting is just about as hard as it has ever been in the history of the U.S.
For years the closure rate of churches [in the US] was about 3,700 a year, and they’re anticipating that that number will move to about 5,500. All the while, there’s going to be probably another 100 million people that will come to the U.S. in the next seven years, either through birth or immigration. So the need continues to grow and grow and grow.
We need to be planting about 8,100 churches per year just to keep up with the population and the closure rates.
Of the new churches that Stadia serves, 42 percent of the attendance of those churches is made up of first time believers.
Stadia Church Planting
Some wisdom from Ralph Moore who has a planted churches and sparked a reproducing movement around the globe.
That's him on my right with a bunch of Aussies and Kiwis I deny ever knowing back in 2007.
For decades we’ve planted mid-size to large Hope Chapels in Hawaii. Mostly shooting for 150 at start, some grew beyond it. Most stabilized around the original size. Some shrank then stabilized. And a couple failed.
But we almost always planted in public schools. Two factors pretty much killed that: A. When others jumped into church planting, the schools became filled with churches. B. A lawsuit against a large church frightened school leadership from renting to churches.
With nowhere to launch, our model is broken. But, that is a good thing. Read on and I’ll tell you why.
Relevant Magazine reports on the growth of Christianity in one of the world's most influential cities.
New York City churches tread the line between community center and place of worship; they are a mixture of ESL classes in the basement, bi-vocational pastors, after-school programs and co-op gardens behind project buildings. They are dinner parties on Wednesday nights, and artist collective meetings in recording studios.
Churches don’t announce their presence with sprawling campuses and freshly painted white steeples. Many of the city’s most prominent and influential churches don’t even have a permanent location—much less a sign tacked on the front. Church here is more bare than gloss.
But without these Bible Belt trappings, Christianity is exploding at unprecedented rates—as in, 300 percent growth in 20 years. You’ve heard of the key players, like Timothy Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian and Hillsong NYC. But the story of New York’s revival isn’t all about high-profile churches. Like the city itself, the real story includes a persistent, rich diversity.
And there's a lot more happening in New York. Just one example...