I’ve spent my adult life making disciples and multiplying churches. That has often been a lonely road to walk.
For years the general attitude in churches was that we could win our culture to Christ by building bigger churches and filling more seats. I’ve even lost a few friends by holding out for multiplication over addition.
Recently I joined the team at Exponential where they have discovered that only 4 percent of churches have ever planted another church. The Exponential team is dedicated to growing that 4 percent to 10 percent by 2030. This is why I joined them.
This article focuses on some recent data gleaned from Exponential. I’m not posting it to promote Exponential but to share the data as good news for the church in America. It seems that we are making real progress toward planting new churches for a new generation and for the 254 unreached people groups living in our country.
Here is good news on three fronts:
- We are gaining ground with more church planters than ever.
- Exponential 2019 is sold out—which demonstrates the interest in church planting.
- You can watch the main stage events at Exponential 2019 for FREE.
1. We’re Gaining Ground
The number of confirmed countries our attendees are traveling from has increased from 20 to 25 this year. About 5 percent come from outside the United States.
This year marks the first time that there will be someone from each of the fifty states in the US attending. This is especially interesting since there are regional conferences in both Northern and Southern California, Boise, Houston, Chicago, Washington DC and New York. The number of groups of 50 or more attending has increased from 12 to 14.
A close look at the table below demonstrates slow but very real progress toward the goal of changing the mindset from just adding members to making disciples and multiplying churches
|Category||Last Year||This Year|
|Coming from a church that plants churches||14%||30%|
|Planted a church in the last 5 years||19%||21%|
|Currently planting a church (in pre-launch phase)||18%||20%|
2. Exponential 2019 in Orlando is Sold Out
This is good news, and even better news is that the event sold out over a month ago. Again, this demonstrates a shifting tide in the thinking of American church leaders. We’ve experienced four decades of thinking, “bigger is better.” During those years the church in America began a slow shrinkage. The way to turn this around is for more, smaller churches built around human need and personal relationship.
Exponential is the largest gathering of church planters in the United States. Exponential’s growth is good for all of us. This is about something greater than Exponential or any other human institution, it is about changing hearts with the Kingdom of God in view.
3. You Can Watch Exponential 2019 ((main stage) for FREE
Since #EXPONENTIAL 2019 IS SOLD OUT, you can watch Francis Chan, Cynthia Marshall, Albert Tate, J.D. Greear, Ed Stetzer and more via the LIVE WEBCAST. Watch for FREE at https://exponential.org/mfm-webcast
So what do you make of all this? Are you seeing growing interest in church planting in your city or your part of the country? Please share some good news in the Comments box below.