(JE) Jeff Walton–Do Episcopalians Have a Church Planting Problem?

On the contrary, starting new churches first will probably help the existing churches in the same community. Pastor Tim Keller of New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church notes: “studies have shown that if there is one church per ten thousand residents, approximately 1 percent of the population will be churchgoers. If this ratio goes to one church per one thousand residents, some 15 to 20 percent of the city’s population goes to church. If the number goes to one per five hundred residents, the number may approach 40 percent or more.”

In short, a rising tide lifts all ships. In Northern Virginia, I’ve long observed a flurry of successful church planting activity, even as the largest congregations ”“ such as McLean Bible Church ”“ continued to grow.

I would also take issue with [Jim] Naughton’s assertion that the resources freed up by church closures will enable more successful church starts. Studies on church plants show that, over the long-term, larger sums of money devoted to new church starts do not correlate with a substantially higher level of success. If you recruit entrepreneurial young church planters, it might even be to their benefit to be bi-vocational, where they may be more likely to interact with potential future parishioners.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Soteriology, Theology

3 comments on “(JE) Jeff Walton–Do Episcopalians Have a Church Planting Problem?

  1. Pb says:

    If a church is planted so that it would grow, this would in no way threaten an established TEC church which likely has other things in mind.

  2. David Keller says:

    This article is interesting for at least one point. Back at the beginning of the 2000s, Virginia had a Suffragan Bishop for church planting, David Jones, whose main job was to plant new churches in that diocese. My recollection is that he was planting 2 new churches per year at that time. How times have changed in TEC. I do note, however, that church planting is not an easy task nor is everyone gifted at it. It takes a very special skill set to successfuuly plant a build a church. Finally, while I don’t believe the compalining churches in Alexandria were correct about competition from church plants, if they were worried about losing congregants to evangelical church plants, maybe THEY were the problem?

  3. Undergroundpewster says:

    If it weren’t so sad, I would be ROTFLOL,

    [blockquote]“I don’t think we can plant more [churches] until we close more [churches] freeing up assets and energy,” Naughton suggests. “But closing and merging parishes requires a bishop to spend a lot of political capital, so I can understand why many avoid doing so.”[/blockquote]

    Another reason not to read his blog except for the entertainment value… or for a good cry.