Yesterday, I wrote about 3500 churches closing their doors every year. Currently, 4000 new churches open every year. So with the closings, really only 500 new churches open annually to reach the 300 million that live in North America.
All stats report that new churches consistently reach more people than established churches. Church plants grow 23 times faster than the average established church. Church plants also reach five times as many people who are far from God as the average church. Every church should engage in church planting.
We should be reproducing and multiplying. Healthy churches should plant new churches. New Season Church has helped plant four churches in our less than 5 year existence as a church. We are now getting ready to send my oldest son, Stevie and his wife, Whitney to plant a church in the Memphis, TN. area.
Stevie has been our Worship Pastor for several years now. He and Whitney announced awhile back that God has been dealing with them and leading them to plant a church in the Memphis area. They have been planning, meeting and working to get ready for their new church and will be moving to Memphis in January 2013.
It is such an exciting thing to send someone out to plant a church but when it is your own son…wow! I have dealt with so many emotions, so many memories, so much reminiscing. Stevie was always full of personality, the class clown…never met a stranger. He has always been athletic. He started singing publicly in 8th grade in Youth Choir at church and music became the focus of his life at that point. For those of you who don’t know, Stevie made it to Hollywood on American Idol two years in a row and was en route to L.A. to be on “The Voice” the day that God confirmed his call to preach and go plant a church. He never even made it to the airport, he turned around, went home and discussed the change of plans, the change of calling with his wife. Talk about obedience!
It has been an amazing journey with our first born. I won’t get too emotional or mushy, but I remember the night he was born and all the emotions that go with a first baby. He was the first grandchild on both sides so he was a little spoiled! I remember the kid whose room was an absolute bomb, the kid who conveniently lost his homework every other day, the kid who would pay his siblings $1.00 to do all of his chores. That kid is now a husband, a father and a preacher! I am proud, I am excited and I am grateful at all that God has done and is going to do through my boy.
If you would like to follow Stevie, Whitney (and Finn!) and their ministry, check out citychurchmemphis.com. They actually had a Vision Meeting with a group of people in Memphis last week. They had 55 people attend the meeting and 1 person received Christ…55 people at a planning meeting and 1 saved! That is incredible! I know this is just a small sign of what is to come for City Church!
We have a great opportunity to invest in this family and this ministry. This Sunday, September 30 and again on October 7, we will take up offerings at New Season that will go directly to a ministry called, Growing Healthy Churches. This ministry will match any funds raised when a church grows to a certain number so the money will then be given to Stevie, Whitney and City Church.
If you live in the Memphis area and you want to be a part of a movement of God, make plans to be at the next Vision Meeting for City Church on October 11. Check out the website for more details about this event.
We can all invest in City Church by giving, praying, volunteering and telling others. Let’s invest in the next generation…God has big plans to use them!