We’re all busy, right? There are times I find myself in the middle of something asking “why am I doing this and is it really that important?” I don’t have time anything non-strategic. Especially now. Unnecessary trips, meetings, conferences, whatever… they get cut quickly.

So why am I in Atlanta right now? I come here several times a year to assess potential candidates for church planting. It is our goal in the Association for Related Churches to plant 2000 churches immediately. Here’s why planting more churches is essential…

Each year (between 2000-2005), 3,707 churches in America closed. And, 4009 new churches were planted each year during that time frame. For those of you not so good at math, that is a net gain of 303 churches per year. Before you smile and start feeling good about that… consider this – 3,205 new churches are needed a year just to keep up with the population growth.

That’s how many are needed JUST TO KEEP UP with the population growth rate. We need many, many more to begin to gain ground and take this nation for Christ. For those of you with kids, these numbers ought to be frightening. In twenty years, America will be a far different place for our kids, unless the church starts reproducing.

More on this later, but my friend (and father in church planting) Dave Olson, just wrote a very important book about the state of the church in America. The numbers are far worse than George Barna has been telling us. He’s said that 45% of Americans go to church. Dave recently completed the largest study ever done on the America Church and figured out the numbers are not even half that!!!

So again, it would take 3,205 new churches a year in America just to KEEP UP with the pathetic numbers presently in the Body of Christ. And, again, right now we are only at 303 in terms of a net gain.