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5 Future Trends of Church Planting

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Church planting trends for now and the future

Thom Rainer has stated, “Trend prediction is both an art and a science.” The science is the data and the art is the practice. And by putting the two together we can see current trends and predict future movement.

With culture seemingly changing at the speed of light, church planters (and those who train and support them) cannot be over-aware of the trends new churches will face. Here are five things we are seeing now and will continue to see as we move further along in the 21st century post-Christian America.

Each trend has a brief caution—not to indicate that I do not affirm much of the trends—but to acknowledge possible unintended side effects to consider.

1. Becoming more technical and strategic.

When I planted my first church in Buffalo, NY, there were no church planting assessments for me to take or boot camps for me to attend. In fact, not many resources were available on the subject of church planting. But that has certainly changed over the past 25 years.

Now there are myriads of books, articles, websites, networks, associations, and denominations putting out information on church planting. If you plan on planting through a network, association, and/or denomination you must prepare yourself to be assessed, trained, coached, and mentored. I am grateful for the strides many have made to invest in church planters and help prepare them for the challenges that they will face. However, I have two particular cautions associated with this trend.

First, “A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory comes from the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31, HCSB).

Church planting is a spiritual endeavor, not only a technical one. The techniques and strategies that go into preparing and training one to plant ...

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