I have heard it said hundreds of times: “We do not need more churches in our community. We have enough churches already.”
I disagree. We cannot fulfill the Great Commission without planting churches. We need new churches! Jesus, when He ascended into heaven two thousand years ago, left a spiritual family of 120 believers in an upper room. We are encouraged to follow in His steps. Our obedience to help to start new churches is continuing what Jesus started.
Here is another reason why we need new churches: A research study by Fuller Theological Seminary found that if a church is ten or more years old, only one person will be led to Christ for every 85 people in the congregation. If the church is between four and seven years old, one person is led to Christ for every seven members, but if a church is less than three years old, one person is led to Christ for every three members. That is why I agree with Dr. C. Peter Wagner, who taught for many years at Fuller Theological Seminary and often said that “planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.”
Here is yet another reason: the younger generations are leaving established churches by the hundreds. Many of them say they love Jesus but do not sense they are connecting with the local church. We cannot just write them off as being rebellious. At times, that may be the case; however, we cannot simply sit back and watch them leave. We must encourage each generation to start churches that will connect with their own generation. I am not saying that many of our young people will not continue to serve in our present local churches. They will and they should. But Jesus made it clear that new wine needs new wineskins (Matthew 9:17), and then both are preserved. The old and the new, serving right alongside one another!