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Why Plant Churches?

July 5, 2007

How did this affect you? Do you think we need more churches?

Want to support Austin City Life? Click here.  Consider this post in light of the above statistics.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2007 12:52 am

    thanks for the link. ok, maybe the 5th largest “mission field” — b/c the country is so huge. but definitely nowhere close to the largest in terms of unevangelized *per capita.* sometimes I feel like in trying to justify church planting in america we — being typical americans — try to make america more than what it is. iit is largely unchurched, but nowhere close to largely unevangelized. in this I feel ike the terminology and stats on the presentation are a bit misleading. this is why I appreciate your recent missional article.

    in any case, if numbers like this spawn more church plants in america — that is def. something to rejoice in.

  2. July 6, 2007 6:08 am

    Joey, I am so glad someone posted a thoughtful and reflective response to this presentation. you nailed it..5th biggest country but probably not 5th most urgent, unevangelized, least evangelized.

    Though the stats make thier point–we need new, more effective churches–I am not convinced we are a post-xn nation. Consider the media, pop culture, politics, xty is everywhere, which means we definitely arent unreached or unevangelized. More honest reflection is necessary here

  3. July 6, 2007 1:25 pm

    Ya I agree with js on this. A wise man once said there are three kinds of liars: liars, damn liars, and statistics.

    In reality I don’t think that the statistics here lie, I just think that they are a bit myopic. There are only 11 churches per 10,000 people…well in a small town like Denton that means there are about 77 churches, and about 710 churches in Austin. However in other parts of the world say in Dubai there are 3-5 known churches in a city of almost 2 million.

    However that said I think that we are all guilty of using these “need” statistics to make our ministry look important. I want to use numbers to convince myself and others that God’s call on my life is worthy, instead of being satisfied that God has called me to do something, and I am to be obedient to it; just as He has called everyone else and their responsibility is the same.

    I know that I too have tried to use numbers and emotional music like this to make me feel like I am doing God’s will. I think it must be more simple than this, there are people that God is calling all around the world, including the US. Where is God asking you to play a part; get there and do it.

    I have been having to wrestle with this intensely b/c of presenting and telling others about the need in other parts of the world. Do I use motivational music and fancy numbers to make “God’s cause” sound great and get people involved? Will that help others see what God is doing around the world and in their backyard? Or am I building myself up?

    many questions still unanswered, but an interesting topic to ponder.

  4. July 6, 2007 2:59 pm

    Agreed. I also appreciate your more personal comments about appropriating statistics for our own egos. Thanks for encouraging us to place the call as primary.

    You might appreciate the article Joey mentioned, How Missional is Your Church?: Keeping the Global in Missional…I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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