This fall we are sending out 6 families from Capital City Church to launch a brand new church on the east side of Columbus. This new church, Eastside Community Church, is being led by Pastor Kelly & Greg Preston. It is a partnership with the Ohio Church Multiplication Network, The Ignite Network, and the national Assemblies of God Church Multiplication Network.
We are not a large church and this is definitely a step of faith and trust in God as we move forward. It will cost us.
So why do it?
The cliché answer is, “Because God told us to.” While we believe that is true, let’s go beyond that statement.
CapCity is a very missions minded church. We support 97 missionaries and missions organizations around the world. This includes many here in the US. We also give generously to the church planting including monthly support for 5 recently launched or about to launch churches. We are a church that gives. It is also part of our vision to be a church that sends.
In fulfilling the vision as a sending church, we will at times send people, not just money to get new churches started.
While there are hundreds of churches in the Columbus area, there is still much room for more. I know some would push back on this and say we need to put our resources into revitalizing existing churches. I do agree that a lot of churches need some help and resources. However, statistically speaking, a new church plant is more effective at reaching those who are far from God than one that is trying to revitalize. In fact, the average church sees more people convert in its first 5 years than it does in the next ten and sometimes much more beyond that. There are many reasons for this and some can be addresses and overcome, but the truth is it takes a minimum 3-5 years to turn a church around from decline, stagnation, and inward focus to one that is reaching unbelievers effectively and growing. A church plant achieves this almost immediately.
This is not to suggest that church plants are vastly superior to established churches. It is focusing on one aspect and noting the general statistical effectiveness of one. The truth is, we need both established churches with a heart for unbelievers and for planting new churches as well as new churches starting regularly.
Some raw numbers.
There are about 311 million people in the US. On any given Sunday there are about 62 million people in church in the US. There are some 300,000 churches in the US. Most of those churches (177,000) actually average 100 or less each week. But if we use raw averages based on the number of people in church to the number of churches we see there is 1 church for every 207 church attenders in the US. For the current churches to handle the US population, each church would have to reach a total of 1,000 people. To put it another way, every church would have to quadruple. If we stick with an average church size of 200 then we need a total of approximately 1.2 million churches just to reach all of the US.
In order to reach the 250 million people who currently are not in church on Sunday, we need more churches. There is plenty of room and much more opportunity to open new churches and see growth happen for all churches.
Our part here at CapCity is we will continue to fund church planting and as we are able and have opportunity, we will send people out to plant churches.