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Church Planting

Article by: Matthew Fretwell

Read the original post and more HERE.

Dr. Matthew Fretwell of Regent University shares that research has demonstrated a decline within the Western Church for several years. While statistics have shown that 80–85% of American churches are either dying, declining, or plateauing, those numbers are nearly a decade old (Malphurs 2013, 200). Unfortunately, the statistical data has not improved. A recent Barna Group study that included 34 denominations discovered 1.5 churches closed for every church that opened (Barna 2021). To sustain the current pace of population growth, American churches would need to plant at least 2,900 new churches every year.[2] While only 12% of Americans attend church on any given Sunday, 20% of people are leaving their church every year—this would require a visitor rate of at least 30% of the church’s size just to grow.

Unfortunately, 7,000 churches close their doors every year, and only 4,000 open. It is approximated that 15,000 church plants are needed each year to keep up with the population growth.

Church planting exists as one of the most effective means of following the Great Commission in multiplicative disciple-making, depending upon the strategy utilized. With newer strategies of micro-expression, microchurch, missional community, cultural oikos, and more, the Western Church has great opportunities. However, the objective is really not church planting, but disciple-making. Additionally, the Church should be focused on a three-pronged approach of multiplicative disciple-making, revitalizing, planting, and the missionary preparedness of the church.

Contact Jonathan Hill, Resident Director of Evangelism Ministries ( to have a discussion on how you and/or your church can participate in building the Kingdom via church plants.

[1] Aubrey Malphurs, Look Before You Lead, 200. [2] David T. Olson, The American Church in Crisis, 181.

Article Submitted By: Jonathan Hill

Resident Director of Evangelism Ministries

Cornerstone Conference IPHC

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