Based upon current trends and what some experts are saying, we will see an increase in a change of approach and methodology in the planting of new churches in America. These changes may not be good or bad per se, but we should be aware and consider our approach. These are all in practice in many places, perhaps we are not aware. Below are a few observations about some new approaches:
- More house churches. More small churches will be established in homes and will stay there, by design. Once they reach a certain numbers, they divide in order to multiple in additional locations. We have seen this tendency in Latin America for many years; the results are remarkable.
- Fewer large church buildings built. Most church planters want to avoid the strangulation of big debt. Fewer worshipers want to pay big mortgage bills. They prefer instead to invest in life-changing ministry.
- More opportunities to worship on days other than Sunday. Like it or not, there is a move away from Sunday as “the day” to worship.
- Large churches planting new churches in other cities and states, even other countries. This is nothing new but it seems to be on the increase. These large churches sometimes serve as a mother church on an ongoing basis.
- More church planters planning to remaining bivocational. Perhaps out of necessity, but partly because of strategy, many church planters have no desire to be in full-time ministry.
- Less glamor and glitz in church planting. Many worshipers are unimpressed with expensive and entertaining worship. “Keep it simple” is becoming more of a mantra for some church planters.
- More marketplace churches. Factories, stores, businesses and coffee shops are increasing becoming the venue for new church plants.
- “Second career” church planters. More folks are retiring early or are strategically entering ministry once their kids are raised.
I believe that we should consider any and all methods of planting healthy churches. There is no “best” model; the one that is best is the one that works.
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Let’s plant churches!