Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Former Ridgeview Worship & Student Pastor Milo Wilson To Preach Live This Sunday! (And Why I Believe It Was A Good Thing They Left To Help With A Church Plant In Buffalo, NY)

Okay, before the hate mail comes, let me explain. Just read some excerpts from the book, The American Church in Crisis. Please let this sink in:

ore than 91 million people live in the United States today who did not live here 16 years ago. 70 million of them are under the age of 17.  (factoring in birth rate and immigration).  In no single state did church attendance keep up with population growth.  The states with the greatest decline were in the New England region."

"We need 3,205 new churches every year to keep up with American population growth. That number is 10 times higher than the actual net gain of churches."

"3,700 church closings and 4,000 church starts each year.  Net gain of 300.  We need 3,205 just to keep up with population growth."

Ten Reasons to Plant Churches

  1. Large majority of Americans do not attend churches.
  2. New churches are more effective than established churches at conversion growth.  3-4 times the conversion rate of existing churches.
  3. New churches are more effective to reach ethnic populations as it's more difficult for existing churches to become more diverse.
  4. New churches are historically the best method for reaching the emerging generation.
  5. New churches are a test lab for lay leadership.  People often report that helping launch a church was the most spiritually significant part of their faith journey.
  6. New churches provide research and development for the Church.
  7. New churches provide a channel to express the energy and ideas of passionate, innovative young pastors.  Denominations need stabilizers and innovators.
  8. New churches can sustain growth for the next forty years
  9. New churches provide synergistic benefits to established churches.  Denominations that plant many strong churches have more healthy, growing and established churches.
  10. New churches lower the age profile of the American church, increase its multiethnicity and better position the whole church for future changes.

Predictions for 2020

  1. Population attending Christian church on any weekend will drop from 17.5 percent to 14.7 percent.
  2. 55,000 churches will close between 2005 and 2020, while 60,000 new churches will open.  Net gain of 4,500 churches, though the population will require 48,000 new churches.
  3. Evangelical church attendance will be 8.5 percent.

"Whoever wants to save their life will lost it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it." – existing churches must embrace this teaching of Jesus.

I believe Milo and Erin Wilson made an incredibly selfless decision to lose their lives for Christ and go to Buffalo, New York in helping with a new church. I believe church planting is one of the most important things churches must be doing as they make disciples. I look forward to interviewing Milo and Erin Sunday on the great things happening at The Well Church and how our dollars are being used to reach people in this heavily unchurched area. I also look forward to hearing Milo share our final message in the Parenthood series as he tackles  the issue of discipline.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Tommy

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