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Two Statistics Every Church Planter Needs to Know

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

You can’t plant a church without partners.

You can’t plant a church without partners and you can’t grow a healthy church without evangelism. But those will look different for different planters in different contexts.

It has become fairly common to send a large (30+) group of people somewhere to plant a church. Others seek to build a group exclusively from the harvest in their new community. The churches I’ve planted never began with a core group. I have always parachuted in—that’s really the best description. While I have never begun with a core group, at the same time, I’ve never begun without a team. Once on site, I set about building a team.

Biblical kingdom growth is evangelism that results in new churches. Though I’ve never seen a church planted with 100% new believers or lost people, it is certainly biblical to expect a large number of the members and attenders to come from the harvest. It is concerning to see an increasing number of church plants where the vast majority of the people are dissatisfied, disgruntled or re-energized Christians.

Sadly, strategies that lend themselves to transfer growth have become the norm. In an issue of Mission Frontiers, Mike Breen laments that in the United States, “96% of church growth is due to transfer growth and not churches striking into the heart of our enemy’s territory. We’ll consider it a win because we have the new service or program that is growing...but that growth is mainly from people coming from other churches. That’s not a win! That’s a staggering loss.”

The question we have to ask is: What is healthy?

I would ask you to consider two statistics that can provide a church plant with a solid foundation for healthy growth.

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